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Flames Take Two at Binghamton Quad
Both squads entered the final matchup unbeaten on the day. In earlier action, Liberty posted a 28-12 win over Princeton and a 34-12 victory over U.S. Merchant Marines Academy (USMMA), while Binghamton finished off USMMA, 35-10, and Princeton, 28-15.
In the premier matchup of the day, the homestanding Bearcats opened up a sizeable lead after three bouts. Binghamton jumped out to a 12-0 lead after a pair of decisions and a win by fall by Anwar Goeres over Scott Clymer in the second period (4:07).
Liberty took two of the next three bouts by decision, followed by a third-period pin by Brad Clark over Ryan McGarity (6:25) to pull the Flames back with three points, 15-12.
However, returning All-American Josh Patterson was able to improve to 61-8 during his illustrious four-year career at Binghamton, as the nation's No. 15 ranked grappler at 184 pounds pinned Nick Knowles late in the first period, 2:14, to give the Bearcats cushion enough to secure the victory. Knowles, who was wrestling up a weight class during the event, had picked up a pair of victories earlier in the day.
In the first session of the day, Liberty reeled off seven-straight weight class victories to secure the 16-point dual win over Princeton.
Following Jonathan Childress' decision win at 125 pounds, the Tigers took a momentary lead. Princeton got a decision win at 133 pounds by Zach Bintliff over Sean Katz and a win by fall by Luis Ramos over Clymer (2:46).
However, senior captains Frankie Gayeski and Shaun Smith righted the ship, picked up decision wins to steer Liberty in the winning direction.
Gayeski captured a hard-fought 10-8 decision win over Daniel Kolodzik at 149 pounds, followed by Smith's 10-7 decision victory over Danny Scotton at 157 pounds.
Liberty controlled the action the remainder of the way, recording two major decision wins and a pair of falls.
Porter pinned Andy Lowy late in the first period (2:25) at 165 pounds, while Josh Pelletier picked up his first win by fall on the year with a pin 60 seconds into his heavyweight bout with Robert Grogan.
The major decision wins belonged to Knowles at 184 pounds over Anthony Salerno (11-3) and Jacobi Johnson at 197 pounds over Charles Fox (13-4).
The Flames took a different route toward victory against USMMA, as Liberty opened up a 17-0 lead after four bouts and never looked back against the Mariners.
Childress once again opened with a decision win at 125 pounds, defeating Patrick Graham, 12-5. The next two grapplers for Liberty followed with major decision wins, beginning with Joe Pantaleo's 8-0 blanking of Jordan Alfaro at 133 pounds.
Collin Lewis kept things rolling for the Flames with a 10-2 major win over Garrick Skubon at 141 pounds, while Gayeski put the match out of reach with a pin nine seconds in the second period over Kevin Hartnett at 149 pounds (3:09).
USMMA, ranked No. 21 in the latest Division III wrestling poll, did manage to take two bouts, both by fall to secure 12 dual points. Dan Twito, ranked No. 10 nationally at 149 pounds, wrestled up and pinned Justin Krop at 157 pounds, while Eric Vincent captured a late first-period pin over Johnson at 197 pounds (2:53).
The Flames were paced on the afternoon by Gayeski, Porter and Clark, as the trio each finished action inside West Gym a perfect 3-0.
Both Gayeski and Clark recorded a pair of decision wins and their third victory by fall. Porter finished the day with a decision win, a victory by technical fall and a pin.
Pelletier also finished the day with a pair of wins and the heavyweight pushes his record to 6-0 on the season in dual matches.
With their pair of dual victories, the Flames upped their record to 7-3 on the year in dual competition. Liberty will not resume dual action until the next calendar year when the Flames participate in the Virginia Duals on Jan. 8-9 in Hampton, Va.
The Flames will however return to the wrestling mats much sooner, as Liberty will travel west to participate in their fourth-straight Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 20.
Last year, Liberty finished the event 28th out of 30 teams, but Liberty's first two trips to one of the largest west coast collegiate wrestling events were much more fruitful for the Flames. In 2006, Liberty placed 13th out of 29 teams and repeated with a 13th place showing out of 26 teams in 2008.