Pitt wrestling falls to Michigan, 18-13

After an agonizing tiebreaker loss last night to Edinboro, Pitt fell short again in a close match with Michigan, falling 18-13.

At 125 pounds, there was a pretty good matchup with No. 19 Anthony Zanetta for Pitt against No, 15 Conor Youtsey. After Zanetta scored a penalty point, that tied the match 3-3 in the third period and it went to overtime. Unfortunately, Youtsey prevailed there, 5-3, scoring a quick takedown. At 133, there was another ranked matchup with No. 20 Shelton Mack for Pitt vs. No. 19 Rossi Bruno for Michigan. Pitt again came up short as Mack lost 6-1. No. 17 Edgar Bright then checked in for Pitt at 141 pounds facing No. 8 Steve Dutton, and things didn't get much better. About the only thing that went right was Bright didn't get pinned as Dutton racked up some back points, but Bright was able to avoid the pin. Those first three bouts put Pitt behind 9-0.

Pitt's Mike Racciato then had his work cut out for him taking on No. 8 Eric Grajales at 149 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Racciato scored a quick escape for a 1-0 lead. Racciato fell short, though, giving Michigan a 12-0 lead. At 157 pounds, Cole Sheptock was again in for Pitt's Ronnie Garbinsky, who is out with a hamstring injury. Sheptock took on No. 14 Brian Murphy and was never really in it, other than nearly scoring an early takedown. He lost 6-0 and that put Pitt down 15-0.

Geno Morelli gave Pitt some hope at the 165-pound weight class taking on No. 6 Dan Yates. With a 1-0 lead, for some reason he decided to let Yates out for an unchallenged escape at the start of the third period for a 1-1 tie. Nevertheless, Morelli scored a late takedown and won 3-1 scoring a huge upset to get Pitt on the board with their first three points. That gave Pitt a little bit of momentum with No. 7 Tyler Wilps taking on unranked Collin Zeerip. Trying to make up a big team deficit, Wilps repeatedly scored takedowns in the first and second periods, and voluntarily let Zeerip escape to pick up more points. Wilps easily won 19-8 giving Pitt a major decision to cut the lead to 15-7.

At 184 pounds, No. 6 Max Thomusseit took on No. 16 Domenic Abounader. The match was a little closer than you'd like to have seen as Thomusseit didn't score a takedown. Still, he had a 1-0 score after the third period and a riding time point gave him a 2-0 victory to make the team score 15-10.

No. 18 Nick Bonaccorsi stepped up next taking on unranked Chris Heald and he did his job, getting an 8-2 win to get Pitt nearly all the way back to 15-13. That set up a matchup with No. P.J. Tasser taking on 27-1 No. 2 Adam Coon. Tasser at 285 pounds, as he often is against the larger heavyweights was undersized. The action got started right away with each getting four early points. After an escape, Tasser led 5-4 and took that lead into the second period. Coon had an escape of his own early on and that tied things up at 5-5 and it stayed that way in the third period. Tasser was quickly out for an escape to regain the lead 6-5 but with riding time in Coon's favor, it was basically a 6-6 bout. Tasser, though, found himself in trouble with a second stalling call to give Coon a point and after a takedown, Coon won the bout 9-6, giving Michigan the match, 18-13.

You knew that if it came down to that last bout, Pitt was likely in trouble. Problem was that the Panthers again just dug themselves a huge hole to start and couldn't get out. They really needed to win one of the lighter matchups and that didn't happen.

Pitt was in both matches on Friday and Saturday, but just a tough weekend for the wrestling squad as a whole as they move to 12-3 on the year.

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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