Pitt trailed for much of their meet against Edinboro on Saturday but won their final two bouts to pull off a big victory, winning 20-16.
Things mostly got off to a bad start for Pitt. A 10-2 major decision win by Dom Forys (133 pounds) was the only victory in the first four bouts. L.J. Bentley dropped his bout at 125 pounds, Nick Zanetta lost a marathon match that went nine periods at 141 pounds, and 149-pounder Mikey Racciato was completely dominated in an ugly loss. Add it all up, and the Panthers fell behind 10-4.
From there, things turned around a bit. Jake Wentzel (157 pounds) was involved in a pretty close match until towards the end when he racked up two sets of the maximum number of back points (four) on his way to a 10-0 win followed by a pretty clean 9-6 win for TeShan Campbell in a matchup of two Top 20 wrestlers to put Pitt up on top, 11-10. The middle of the lineup with Wentzel and Campbell looks like it should be pretty strong.
Freshman starter Christian Dietrich (174 pounds) and Mat Carr (184 pounds) slowed the momentum the team was building up, though. Both lost their bouts to put Edinboro back up, 16-11.
Pitt had their backs up against the wall going into the 184 -pound match needing a win to stay alive and Zach Bruce responded with a hard-fought, albeit pretty slow-paced, victory. That made the team score 16-14 in favor of Edinboro and took things down to the final bout at the heavyweight level with another matchup of Top 20 wrestlers in Ryan Solomon for Pitt vs. Billy Miller of Edinboro.
Solomon has carried this team to other team wins in the past when duals have been on the line and didn't disappoint. After scoring an early takedown and accumulating a minute of riding time, he scored an amazing pin to give Pitt six points and the 20-16 win.
Pitt was really hurt in the last few seconds of matches. Zanetta gave up a last-second escape to lose his long match. Carr gave up a takedown with three seconds left in the second period of his match to put him behind. If those guys hold on a little bit longer, the results in those bouts could have been a bit different and helped Pitt to a bigger win.
Edinboro was not ranked but was close to it as only one of seven teams receiving votes. It's not a ranked win but a very quality one and moves the team to 3-0 on the season.
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 founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.