Edinboro tops Pitt wrestling on tiebreaker, 17-16

Pitt's wrestling squad lost a tiebreaker on Friday, falling to Edinboro at home 17-16.

At 125 pounds, No. 19 Anthony Zannetta wrestled a very good match, beating No. 18 Kory Mines 10-9, getting a key point for riding time. Mines escaped late, but Zannetta stayed away just long enough to give Pitt a 3-0 lead. That was big because they would be the last team points they would get for a while.

At 133, No. Shelton Mack took on second-ranked A.J. Schopp and their bout was a defensive struggle. Neither guy gave up much and through two periods, it was scoreless. Mack made a questionable decision by going neutral at the start of the second period instead of starting on the bottom to try to gain an escape point. Schopp then started on the bottom and quickly gained an escape for a 1-0 lead and that was the difference and tied the match.

Things didn't get much easier for Pitt at 141 pounds with No. 17 Edgar Bright squaring off against an undefeated No. 1 Mitchell Port. There was a lot of action early on and while Bright trailed 4-1 after the first period, it was closer than that would indicate. But Port really took control after that and cruised to an 8-2 win, giving Edinboro a 6-3 team lead.

At 149 pounds, freshman Mikey Racciato took on No. 15 Dave Habat. Racciato got down 5-0 pretty quickly on a takedown and three back points, and trailed 7-1 at the end of the first period. He couldn't really ever get in the match and was beaten 10-2 for a major decision and a 10-3 lead.

Pitt had another tough blow with Ronnie Garbinsky out with an injury at 157 pounds. That forced Cole Sheptock into action against No. 16 Johnny Greisheimer and things just got worse as Sheptock lost dropping Pitt to a 13-3 hole.

The Panthers needed points at 165 with Geno Morelli taking on Kasey Burnett-Davis in the only unranked matchup and they got them. Morelli scored a late takedown on an amazing move to get away from a takedown attempt from Burnett-Davis and held on for a 4-3 win. That stopped the bleeding to get Pitt to a 13-6 deficit.

Pitt then got a few of their higher-ranked guys up, starting with No. 7 Tyler Wilps at 174 pounds taking on unranked Patrick Jennings. Wilps dominated the match and had an 11-2 lead after two periods, nearly pinning Jennings at one point. He went on to an easy 17-5 major decision to close the lead to 13-10.

No. 6 Max Thomusseit then took on No. 15 Vic Avery at 184 pounds in a really key matchup. It was a low-scoring matchup, but Thomusseit scored a takedown and had a 2-1 lead into the third period. After a quick escape he had a 3-1 lead. The win was huge as he tied the match up with a 4-1 win after scoring a riding time point.

No. 18 Nick Bonaccorsi then got unranked Vince Pickett at 197 pounds. Bonaccorsi took a nice 6-2 lead into the third period and ended up winning fairly easily, 8-2. That gave Pitt a 16-13 team lead heading into the final bout - No. 19 PJ Tasser vs. No. 17 Ernest James. Tasser gave up a significant size advantage to James, but held his own. He got a controversial call against him with a second stalling call at the horn for a 1-0 deficit after two periods. James then scored a quick escape and with a riding time point coming his way, essentially had a 3-0 lead with Tasser playing catchup. Tasser went down by that margin and there was a 16-16 tie at the end.

This is where things get crazy. After numerous ties in the tiebreaker rules, Edinboro came out on top winning by total points for a final of 17-16. To make things even more agonizing, according to the Pitt wrestling Twitter account, it was by a total of 50 points to 49 points.

Ugh, you always hate to see something like this. And for the record, I'm no fan of ties. Heck, I'd rather they trot everybody out and do it all again. Losing by a single point obviously makes you backtrack the entire match. What if Tasser scored an escape in the second period when he started down? What if the No. 2 - 4 bouts weren't so lopsided? I don't know - whatevs. But sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't.

So Pitt winds up losing their second match of the year and has no time to breathe with a ranked Michigan team tomorrow. Getting one of those two would be big and the Panthers won't have much time to regroup. It will be on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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