RIVERSIDE, Calif. – It was only fitting California Baptist University’s first-ever win over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo came in dramatic fashion, beating the Mustangs by one point at 19-18.
As if a victory over an NCAA Division I opponent wasn’t impressive enough, CBU improved to 4-1 this season despite forfeiting the 285-pound match. The dual result accounted for Cal Poly’s first loss of the year, as it slid to 2-1.
“We also had three new guys in the lineup and four guys at new weights,” head coach Lennie Zalesky said. “To beat Cal Poly, usually the best NCAA Division I team in California and typically ranked in the top-25 in D-I, is just incredible.”
The Lancers won six of the nine matches that were wrestled, with many of the individual bouts coming down to dramatic finishes. Five of CBU’s wins were within three points, including a pair of one-point victories.
“The guys wrestled tough, we won on the last second a lot,” Zalesky said.
Bradford Gerl provided the Lancers with the biggest win of the night, a 16-5 major decision over Colton Shorts, at 141. It did not come as easy as the result may suggest.
Bradford found himself down 5-0 less than a minute into the first period after giving up a takedown and three-point near fall. Even on his back, Bradford never lost his composure and rallied to take a 6-5 lead before the period ended, as he notched an escape, takedown and three-point near fall within a 28-second span.
Bradford sealed the win with a three-point near fall in the second period and two more in the final frame.
California Baptist University 125-pounder Bryden Lazaro opened the dual with a one-point win over Britain Longmire, 7-6, after notching an escape six seconds into the third period.
Alex Anunciation (149) increased the Lancers’ lead to 10-3 with a 9-6 win over Cal Poly’s Kyle Chene. Anunciation trailed, 3-2, going into the final period but scored six points on a pair of escapes and takedowns to claim the bout.
“Alex came back from an injury for the first time in a year, and he was a little tired, but he won it on guts and good technique,” Zalesky said. “He had a couple of really nice shots.”
Brady Bersano improved his personal record to a team-best 11-4 on the year when he tallied a 7-4 victory over Luke McDonald at 157.
Like Anunciation, Alec Smith stepped onto the mat for the first time this year against Sohrab Movahedi at 165. Tied at four going into the third frame, Smith tallied his second takedown of the match with 1:10 remaining to wrap up the 6-4 win and give CBU a 16-3 lead.
Cal Poly quickly jumped back into contention when Dominic Kastl, who is ranked 24th at 174 pounds by D1CollegeWrestling.net, pinned his man to bring the score to 16-9 with two matches to go.
Knowing there was a forfeit at heavyweight was looming, Caleb Gerl nabbed a clutch 3-2 victory over Sean Dougherty at 184 for CBU. Caleb took a 2-0 lead with a takedown within the final 15 seconds of the first period.
“Alex and Caleb’s wins were big and we needed them both,” Zalesky said. “Caleb won on a lot of guts.”
In a tightly-contested and low-scoring match, Dougherty managed to tie matters up at two with a reversal in the final 1:31 of the match. Caleb had the luxury of not having to force anything down the stretch, as the amount of riding time he built up earlier on (4:06) was good for a 3-2 decision in his favor and 16-9 Lancer advantage.
While it may not have been a win, CBU also received an inspired performance from Kenneth Tribble. The normal 174-pounder jumped up to 197 for the match and delivered a gutsy performance. He trailed 4-2 at the end of the first period and was nearly pinned, which would have cost the Lancers the match--along with a major-decision defeat--in the second period.
Tribble kept both his shoulders off the mat and worked a quick reversal to pull within 9-5 heading into the second period. He stayed out of trouble and grabbed a takedown in the final two minutes in a 9-8 defeat that secured the Lancer win.
“He couldn’t get pinned or majored, that was a heck of a performance,” Zalesky said. “He really turned it on at the end of the match, took him down and rode him out.”
The Lancers take a break for the rest of the 2013 year, picking up on the road in 2014 with a pair of tournaments on Jan. 4.