RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- It took every single point in order for California Baptist University to take down Colorado School of Mines on Thursday night. The Lancers and Orediggers finished their intense 10-match dual tied 23-23.
After looking through the first tiebreak criteria the official still could not declare a winner, as CBU and CSM were even in match wins and falls. The second criterion for tiebreak is technical fall and fall points. Bradford Gerl won the only technical fall of the night, a 16-1 win over Isaac Elge at 141-pounds. This victory put CBU over the top as the dual victor 24-23.
"Gerl did a great job," Head Coach Lennie Zalesky said. "The technical fall was the reason we won."
The victory was a hard fought one, as the Lancers had to battle from an early 10-0 deficit. The Orediggers took the lead after CSM's Ryan Swanson won a major decision over Paul Head at 184-pounds and Paul Wilson pinned David Dill 2:12 into their match at 197-pounds.
Zach Merrill seized back the momentum for the Lancers, at 285-pounds, as he pinned Alex MacKenzie at 3:25. The fall was Merrill's fourth fall and fourth dual win of the season and his 15th win overall.
Taylor Hall followed suit with a pin of his own at 125-pounds. He took down Luis Gurule at 2:21, earning six points for CBU, making the score 12-10.
"We have several guys hurt," Zalesky said. "These guys didn't have a lot of experience, so they did a great job filling in."
Gerl was next, picking up the 15-point win in one of the most dominant performances of the night. He had three takedowns, three nearfalls and picked up 5:53 in riding time, 2:34 more than any other wrestler had in the dual.
Alec Smith, filling in for captain Dylan Cataline, picked up a tough 6-3 decision over Brady Turnbull, who was also filling in for another wrestler at 149-pounds. Following this win and 23-point run, the Lancers were ahead 23-10.
Losses in the final three weight classes allowed CSM to even the score at 23. A pivotal escape and takedown by Anthony Ballinger, with :03 remaining in the second frame of his match at 174-pounds, saved him from suffering a potential major decision loss, as his opponent was already up on him 7-2. A major decision loss would have given the Orediggers a 24-23 win.
"Some guys got themselves into some tough positions tonight," Zalesky said. "They need to work on getting up and out and spend less time on the bottom."
Despite ending the dual by giving up 13 unanswered points, the tiebreaker allowed the Lancers to walk away from the Van Dyne Gym victorious. They move to 3-2 in duals this season and will head to Grand Canyon University on Jan. 5 for more duals.