RIVERSIDE, Calif. – California Baptist University has stacked up well against NCAA Division I competition all season long. While that trend continued, it did not result in the Lancers getting their first-ever win against Cal State Bakersfield, another top-division foe.
Everything was on the line coming into the final match of the night tied. The Roadrunners’ Bryce Hammond earned the final win with a technical fall at 174 pounds to clinch a 20-15 nonconference win over the Lancers Thursday night in the Van Dyne Gym.
CBU falls to 10-4-1 this season, while Bakersfield improves to 6-6.
It was clear early on that both teams were locked in a battle, with four of the matches on the night decided by two points or less. With a rare start at 184 pounds, CBU dropped the first bout of the night but rebounded with three-straight wins for a 12-3 advantage.
Caleb Gerl nabbed a dramatic, come-from-behind victory at 197 for the Lancers. The senior trailed 2-0 after stalling was called on him with 1:15 to go in the match. Eighteen seconds later, Bakersfield’s Reuben Franklin was also assessed a stalling penalty, which brought Gerl within 2-1. Gerl managed to flip a reversal on Franklin with 38 seconds left and held on for the 3-2 victory.
The only pin of the night came from CBU heavyweight Jacob Mitchell, the reigning Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Week. Mitchell improved to 10-0 with his sixth first-period pin of the year, as he nailed Alex Encarcion’s shoulders to the mat 1:28 into the bout for a 9-3 CBU lead.
Bryden Lazaro, who is ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II at 125, built on the Lancers’ advantage with an 11-8 win. Then CSUB came all the way back and won the next three matches to tie things up at 12.
Brady Bersano would not let the Roadrunners take the lead just yet, though, as the second-ranked 157-pounder in NCAA Division II earned a 6-2 win over Spencer Hill that gave CBU a 15-12 advantage. The Roadrunners rallied for the next two wins, including an overtime 3-1 victory at 165, and the overall victory.
CBU concludes its regular season with a home dual with RMAC-foe San Francisco State on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. The Lancers then head to the RMAC Championships in Grand Junction, Co. from Feb. 28 to March 1.