By Lisa Byers
A season ago, the Meadville wrestling team finished with nine total wins. Just two weeks into the 2012-13 season and the Bulldogs are already within three wins of matching that mark.
The Bulldogs continued their impressive start on Tuesday with a 58-21 win over Oil City at the House of Thrills. Meadville improved to 6-2 overall with the victory and 3-1 in Region 4 heading into Tuesday’s region clash with backyard rival Titusville.
“We’re a young team, but we’re a good team,” MASH head coach Barry Anderson said of the Bulldogs’ start.
It is also a very determined team as displayed during last night’s dual match against the Oilers.
Meadville won eight bouts by fall. Of those falls, five came in either the second or third periods, including Ben Bish’s at 182 pounds with the scored knotted at 4-4 against Zeb Lewis.
“It was hard,” Bish said. “He was really fast and I’m not fast. He got kind of tired fast and when he got tired I caught him in an arm bar and worked from there.”
Lewis had taken a 4-2 lead over Bish in the second period after back to back technical violations for interlocking hands. Bish, working from the bottom, tied it up with a reversal just five seconds into the third period and drove Lewis to his back.
Bish improved to 6-2 with the win, his third fall of the season, giving MASH a 40-9 lead.
Oil City won the next matchup by forfeit at 195 pounds. But Meadville won the next three by pin for the grand total of eight and a commanding 58-15 lead.
The quickest pin of the night belonged to Luke Carr. Carr pinned Logan Johnson in just 57 seconds at 220 pounds. Johnson came into the match as the Oilers lone unbeaten wrestler at 2-0.
“I thought Luke Carr did a fantastic job with a tough kid,” Anderson said. “That is one of their better kids. And I thought Zach Luben did a nice job.”
Oil City had intended to forfeit the 145 pound bout. Zack Frazier was set to face Brock Ridgeway or Luben at 132 pounds and John Beach was going to face Kris Nottingham at 138 pounds.
Oil City instead moved the forfeit to 132 pounds. That victory went to Ridgeway. Nottingham then drew Frazier at 138 pounds. Nottingham won that bout 11-2. Beach then dropped a weight class to face Luben.
“They moved him up,” Anderson said. “They wanted Zach Luben. They sure got him. They got all of him.”
Aaron Ehrgott picked up his sixth pin of the season for Meadville. Also recording falls were Derek Ridgeway, Kyle Luben, Louis Crawford and Caleb Prater. Ehrgott’s pin came in the first period with 59 second remaining over freshman Patrick Cunningham. Crawford’s fall also came in the opening period. Luben, Ridgeway and Prater all went late into the second period.
Luben’s fall came with him leading 11-0.
“We just totally wrecked their plans (last night) by going after them and keeping after them,” Anderson said. “That was a lot of pins. It’s hard to get another guy who is trained not to go to their back on their back as many times as we did.
“I was very impressed with the effort and the drive. They really impressed me (last night).”
Next up is Titusville.
The Rockets lost to McDowell 62-9 yesterday. The Rockets are 1-1 in dual matches. They placed three wrestlers at the Top Hat Tournament to start the season.
“We’re hoping to fill the gym more each time we come out,” Anderson said. “We don’t have a whole lot of home matches. But you’re missing something if you aren’t coming out to watch these matches.”