NEWBERRY, S.C. – If anyone thought there would be a letdown after Friday’s victory against No. 4 Newberry, No. 11 Pitt-Johnstown answered that question. The Mountain Cats posted three more victories on Saturday by a combined total of 100-21 to finish the 2013 Super Region I Duals with a 4-0 record, extending their unbeaten streak to 10.
Pitt-Johnstown (11-2) opened Saturday’s wrestling by winning nine of the 10 bouts in a 37-4 win over Limestone College. Eighth-ranked Dave Fogle (133 pounds) and Josh Duplin (285) each won by fall, while eighth-ranked Travis McKillop (184) earned his third technical fall victory of the year by handing Blake Steiert a 17-1 loss. The Mountain Cats also got major decision wins from Evan Link (125) and Gary Lantz (174) to help Pitt-Johnstown open a 31-0 lead.
It was more of the same for the Mountain Cats against Belmont Abbey. After falling behind 3-0, Pitt-Johnstown won the next nine matches to post a 42-3 win. Fogle and McKillop both won by fall, and Dave Cawley scored a 16-0 technical fall against Clemente Narviaz. The Mountain Cats also got forfeit victories by Bachman and Jacob Krupa (285) and an 18-10 major decision by Lantz against Joseph Maumoynier.
Saturday’s final match against No. 20 North Carolina-Pembroke was a bit more challenging. Mike Williams, the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, gave UNC-Pembroke a 14-10 lead with a 9-0 major decision against Lantz. However, the Mountain Cats won the next three to secure a 21-14 win. McKillop recorded another tech fall, this time a 16-0 shutout against Jordan Ford that put Pitt-Johnstown in the lead for good. Nikos Garafola followed with a 4-3 decision, before Duplin’s 2-1 overtime victory against Chris Giddens set the final at 21-14.
All the momentum stemmed from Friday’s big win against Newberry. The Mountain Cats jumped on Newberry for an early double-digit lead. Link set the tone by upsetting fourth-ranked Jeff Vesta with a convincing 9-4 decision, and Fogle scored a 9-3 decision over Nicholas Lankford to make it 6-0.
Pitt-Johnstown wasn’t done there. At 141 lbs., Cawley pushed it out to 12-0 when he pinned fifth-ranked B.J. Young at 1:26.
Newberry cut its deficit to four with back-to back major decisions from eighth-ranked Derel Brown at 149 pounds and fourth-ranked Taylor Knapp at 157, but the Mountain Cats answered to rebuild it to 15-8 when Keith Ryan used a third-period takedown and riding time to knock off fifth-ranked Blake Ridenou 6-3 in the 165 pound bout.
After the Wolves got a 10-5 decision by Travis Sheehy’s versus Lantz, McKillop defeated Mitch Brown 8-1 to put Pitt-Johnstown in front 18-11.
Newberry wasn’t done yet. The Wolves made it 18-14 when Joe Grisco held off Garafola 12-8 at 197 pounds.
With just one bout left, it was up to Mountain Cats freshman heavyweight Duplin, who got the job done with a 3-2 victory against Robert Wade to secure Pitt-Johnstown’s victory. With the score knotted at two in the third period, Duplin rode out Wade for the extra point and the win.
With the loss Newberry, which had its 42-match home winning streak snapped, slipped to 12-2. The Wolves’ last loss at home came on December 15, 2007, to Ashland in that year’s Newberry Duals.