In what was arguably the most anticipated single match of the regular season, Ohio State's 3-time national champion Logan Stieber took to the mat this afternoon against Mitchell Port of Edinboro, the #2-ranked wrestler at 141 pounds and the last big name in the division that Stieber had yet to defeat.
The odds were about as stacked as they could be against the Ohio State senior. He was coming off of two (by his lofty standards) lackluster decision victories and the dual was taking place in front of a packed house at Edinboro. The environment was about as inhospitable as you'll see at a wrestling meet. The biggest obstacle, though, was Port himself; a long, strong wrestler with good defense and top control, the exact type of athlete that had given Stieber trouble in the past.
Stieber wouldn't be denied, though. In what was a tough, physical match, he defeated Port to remain undefeated on the season. Stieber opened the match attacking and after a long scramble earned the first takedown of the match. Stieber would control Port for most of the period before surrendering a late escape, leaving the score at 2-1 going into the second. Stieber would start the period on bottom. He remained there for about forty seconds before a Granby roll led to a scramble and an escape on the edge. The one point for Stieber would be the only one scored in the period, giving him a 3-1 advantage heading into the third. Port would start the final period on bottom and would eventually escape, but not before Stieber locked up the riding time advantage. With the match still up in the air at 3-2 both wrestlers stepped up the offense, but it was Stieber who struck first with his second takedown of the bout. Port would eventually escape, but it was too little too late as Stieber earned a convincing 6-3 decision. Though it was a tough, close match, all three of Ports points came from escapes and Stieber was never really in danger of being taken down or turned.
As for the rest of the dual, it went largely as expected. The stakes were high as it was the opening round of the NWCA national duals with the winning team earning a spot at the big dance next week in Iowa City. Ranked #14 in the country, Edinboro is a tough team with a handful of elite wrestlers, but most figured it lacked the depth up and down the lineup to take out the #3 Buckeyes. As it turned out, the prognasticators were correct. Edinboro got its shots in, but ultimately fell 31-7 to the Buckeyes.
Highlights of the match included Nathan Tomasello's domination of #18 Kory Mines, Bo Jordan's second-period win by fall over Casey Fuller, Mark Martin's 5-2 victory over #20 Patrick Jennings, and Kyle Snyder's 25-9 takedown clinic against Vince Pickett. Full results are posted below.
Ohio State 31
125: #7 Nathan Tomasello DEF #18 Kory Mines (MAJOR DEC. 13-2)(OSU 4 BORO 0)
133: #10 Johnni DiJulius DEF Anthony Rivera (MAJOR DEC. 12-1) (OSU 8 BORO 0)
141: #1 Logan Stieber DEF #2 Mitchell Port (DEC. 6-3) (OSU 11 BORO 0)
149: #3 Dave Habat DEF Randy Languis (8-11) (MAJOR DEC. 10-0) (OSU 11 BORO 4)
157: #12 Josh Demas DEF Chase Delande (DEC. 7-0) (OSU 14 BORO 4)
165: #5 Bo Jordan DEF Casey Fuller (FALL 4:14) (OSU 20 BORO 4)
174: #13 Mark Martin DEF. #20 Patrick Jennings (DEC. 5-2) (OSU 23 BORO 4)
184: #11 Vic Avery DEF #12 Kenny Courts (DEC. 4-1) (OSU 23 BORO 7)
197: #3 Kyle Snyder DEF Vince Pickett Jr. (TECH FALL 25-9) (OSU 27 BORO 7)
285: Ray Gordon DEF Warren Bosch (DEC. 3-1) (OSU 30 BORO 7)