By Curt Heinrichs
After losing to Missouri in each of the last two seasons, the No. 5 Buckeyes finally earned some payback with a 30-9 victory. On a night when Kyle Snyder and Myles Martin were honored for their 2016 NCAA championships, the Buckeyes won seven of ten matches against an injury-plagued Tigers team that was without three of their starters.
Jose Rodriguez cracked the InterMat rankings at No. 10 this week for the first time his career with a runner-up finish at the CKLV last weekend, and he justified the ranking with a 3-1 decision over fellow Ohioan Aaron Assad. Rodriguez took an early lead, but Assad didn’t give up until the final whistle and nearly took the lead with a third period takedown. Rodriguez’ victory gave the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead to begin the dual.
Nathan Tomasello surprised a few people last weekend as he was held to a low scoring output at the CKLV Invitational. If there was doubt about how Tomasello would hold up at a higher weight class, he erased some of the doubt with a dominant 12-2 major decision. Tomasello wrestled from the opening whistle looking like Jaydin Eierman of Missouri owed him money and pushed the pace against the Tiger freshman. Tomasello gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead after two matches.
Ke-Shawn Hayes was lost for the season due to injury last week, but true freshman Luke Pletcher put the coaching fans at ease with a 6-3 defeat of the experienced Zach Synon. Pletcher gave up an early takedown, but battled back and earned a big 6-3 victory to give the team a 10-0 lead after three matches.
The Tigers were without No. 4 Lavion Mayes at 149, so the fans missed out on a top five matchup. No. 5 Micah Jordan kept the Buckeyes in the win column with a dominating performance at 149. Jordan scored takedowns at will against Alex Butler and used a slick nearside cradle to pile up the backpoints on his way to a tech fall. Jordan’s tech fall gave the Buckeyes a 15-0 lead heading into 157.
Jake Ryan was unable to keep the Buckeye win streak rolling as he dropped a 12-5 decision to No. 6 Joey LaVallee. Though LaVallee is a seasoned veteran and tough wrestler in all positions, Ryan looked like he still hasn’t broken out of his season-long funk.
Cody Burcher was unable to pull off the big upset at 165 as No. 4 Daniel Lewis thoroughly controlled the match from the top position and won a bit of a snoozer with a 6-1 decision.
Bo Jordan stepped into the starting lineup for the first time this season and looked great despite giving up a late takedown to Dylan Wisman. Bo’s major decision gave the Buckeyes a 19-6 lead.
Defending NCAA champion Myles Martin had little resistance against Matt Lemanowicz at 184, rolling to a 21-6 tech fall. Lemanowicz was filling in for an injured Willie Miklus, who will be among those competing for All-American honors at season’s end. Martin used a half nelson tilt to rack up backpoints that sealed the tech fall and the dual meet for the Buckeyes.
Redshirt freshman Kollin Moore showed that he wasn’t afraid of Olympic bronze medalist and two-time NCAA champ J’Den Cox as Moore scored a pair of late takedowns and nearly opened the match with a takedown. Cox’ quickness and incredible grip strength allowed him to maintain control of Moore, despite Moore’s best efforts with a series of explosive bottom moves. In the loss, Moore announced his presence to those unaware of just how high his ceiling is this season.
Kyle Snyder scored a bunch of takedowns and finished the match with a pin over Austin Myers in the second period. Snyder has been a pinning machine with three in his first four matches this season. They said there was something scary in the water in Rio, but nobody suspected it would turn Kyle Snyder into a cyborg.
The Buckeyes improve to 3-0 on the season, and will kick off the Big Ten dual season on Sunday, December 18 as they host Northwestern at Wadsworth High School.