BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University wrestling split the weight classes 5-5, but was able to overcome a pesky Gardner-Webb team by taking the final two matches, winning 19-17 on Tuesday night in Varsity Gym.
The 16th-ranked Mountaineers (11-2, 5-0 Southern Conference) went ahead 13-0 early by getting three wins, two of which were bonus points, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs were bale to claw back in by rattling off five-straight weight-class victories to take the lead.
Down 17-13 and with the momentum against him, sophomore Randall Diabe stepped up to face off against Payton Mills in a must-win situation at the 197-pound class for the Black and Gold. Mills played defense while Diabe knew he had to go for points and battled in for a takedown and two escapes to get the 4-0 decision win to bring App State within one, 17-16.
In another must-win match, No. 12 senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette also knew he had to go on the offense against Gardner-Webb’s Boyce Cornwell if they were going to get the win. After two periods that saw few points or action due to defensive strategy from Cornwell, Dejournette finally found the takedown he needed to go up 3-1.
The senior stayed in control the rest of the way and wound up with the riding time advantage to get the 4-1 decision and the Mountaineers the 19-17 victory.
Appalachian started the match off on an absolute tear, with No. 19 senior Vito Pasone launching everything with a breakneck pin at 125 pounds. Pasone pinned Landon LoAlbo in 1:26 – his first pin of the year. No. 24 freshman Colby Smith carried the bonus points wagon forward at 133 pounds, defeating Phillip Anderson with a 9-1 major decision.
Sophomore Irvin Enriquez got the hard-fought win at 141 pounds, having to battle Ryan Hull deep into the third period to get the victory. Hull came out quick first and caught Enriquez in some bad spots early to take the lead. But Enriquez didn’t let up and battled back each time Hull would make a move. The Aberdeen-native won the match 11-10.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs were able to take the middle five weight classes. Chris Vassar defeated sophomore Matt Zovistoski in a 14-2 major decision. Ryan Mosley downed sophomore Gavin Londoff in a 7-2 decision. Tyler Marinelli won a tightly contested 4-3 decision over junior Forrest Przybysz. Austin Trott defeated junior Nick Kee in a 10-3 decision and Hunter Gamble got the 9-1 major decision over junior David Peters-Logue.
The Mountaineers will go on to host the Appalachian Open on Saturday, Jan. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. Appalachian’s next duals match will be against SoCon rival Chattanooga on Sunday, Feb. 5. The action begins at 2 p.m.
125: #19 Vito Pasone (APP) pinned Landon LoAlbo (GWU), 1:26
133: #24 Colby Smith (APP) def. Phillip Anderson (GWU), 9-1 maj. dec.
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Ryan Hull (GWU), 11-10 dec.
149: Chris Vassar (GWU) def. #15 Matt Zovistoski (APP), 14-2 maj. dec.
157: Ryan Mosley (GWU) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 7-2 dec.
165: Tyler Marinelli (GWU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP) 4-3 dec.
174: Austin Trott (GWU) def. #17 Nick Kee (APP), 10-3 dec.
184: Hunter Gamble (GWU) def. David Peters-Logue (APP), 9-1 maj. dec.
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Payton Mills (GWU), 4-0 dec.
HWT: #12 Denzel Dejournette (APP) def. Boyce Cornwell (GWU), 4-1 dec.