Beavers Roll Over Cal Poly in Pac-10 dual, 30-12

Jan. 9, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State 133-pounder Bobby Pfennigs and 141-pounder Clint Leonard opened the meet with a technical fall and a major decision and OSU rode that momentum to a 30-12 win over Cal Poly in Pacific-10 wrestling Sunday afternoon at Gill Coliseum. Beaver 165-pounder Matt Ellis, wrestling at home for the first time this season after missing November and December due to injury, beat CPU's nationally ranked Brody Barrios 6-2.

OSU (5-3 overall, 3-0 Pac-10), which will wrestle at Northern Colorado and Wyoming on Friday, scored team bonus points in five matches against Cal Poly (2-5, 1-2). The Beavers got a pin from 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, technical falls from Pfennigs and 157-pounder Tony Hook and major decisions from Leonard and 174-pounder Jeremy Larson.

'What I liked today was that we were going after the pin and getting some back points,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'We were asserting ourselves and picking up the tempo when we had opportunities to.'

Pfennigs opened the meet with a trio of three-point near-falls in the first period of the afternoon's first match and finished his 16-0 technical fall over Eric Melgares in just 3 minutes, 57 seconds. The OSU sophomore narrowly missed pinning Melgares several times.

'I felt pretty good today,' Pfennigs said. 'I was able to get on top and get control of his hips and turn him ... It was close (to a pin). I thought I had him a couple of times, but he's a slippery guy, I guess.'

Leonard, another sophomore who had missed Friday's Oregon Wrestling Classic Duals due to illness, then earned a 14-2 major decision over the Mustangs' Evan Melgares. Leonard wrapped up the match with a pair of three-point near-falls in the final period.

'We had a lot of guys just wrestle awesome today,' Ellis said. 'Bobby's been wrestling really well, and Clint has been sick but he stepped it up.'

Hook, who had also missed time this season due to injury, scored four near-falls at 157 pounds as his 19-3 technical fall over T.J. Ferguson took 4:35. That brought up Ellis, the defending Pac-10 champion at 165 pounds, against Barrios, who is ranked 19th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News. Ellis, who had been ranked as high as 10th in the nation this season, dropped from the rankings last week after not competing by the end of 2004.

'He was ranked and he's a pretty talented kid, but it's a blessing to be back out there on the mat. I was looking forward to it,' Ellis said. 'I really had nothing to lose, so I went out there and did my best.'

The Beaver senior managed a takedown in the first period but the score was tied 2-2 going into the final period. Wanting to force Ellis to be aggressive and go for a takedown, the Beaver coaches had him opt to start the final period in the neutral position; he responded with the winning takedown with 20 seconds left and then added a two-point near-fall as time expired for the 6-4 win.

'It's just one of those things that's setback-comeback,' Ellis said of returning to action. 'After a setback, you have to get right back in there and come back. It's the same thing when you're out there on the mat - you get taken down and you may have a couple of setbacks and not be wrestling the match you want to, and you come back and keep chipping away at it and you can still wrestle the match you want.

'It's the same thing with an injury. I had a setback and am back on that road to recovery and I'm back to where I want to be - on the mat.'

Larson, who also returned to the lineup this weekend after missing time due to injury, picked up an 8-0 major decision over Yuri Kalika at 174 pounds. Larson improved his record this season to 6-1 with the win over Kalika, who is ranked sixth in the Pac-10 at that weight.

OSU's only nationally ranked wrestler, heavyweight Ty Watterson, ground out a 7-0 win over Arturo Basulto. Watterson, ranked 16th by AWN and 13th by InterMat, is now 11-1 with a team-high four pins this season.

Stevenson picked up his second pin of the weekend and third of the season over CPU's Josh Obregon in 1:33.

The Beavers were without 184-pounder Dan Pitsch, who was hurt against Southern Oregon on Friday. He could return to the lineup next weekend.

OREGON STATE 30, CAL POLY 12

(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

133-Bobby Pfennigs, OSU, tech. fall over Eric Melgares, CPU, 16-0 (3:57). 141-Clint Leonard, OSU, major dec. Evan Melgares, CPU, 14-2. 149-Jeff Owens, CPU, major dec. Orlando Perez, OSU, 10-2. 157-Tony Hook, OSU, tech. fall over T.J. Ferguson, CPU, 19-3 (4:35). 165-Matt Ellis, OSU, dec. (19) Brody Barrios, CPU, 6-2. 174-Jeremy Larson, OSU, major dec. Yuri Kalika, CPU, 8-0. 184-(9) Ryan Halsey, CPU, tech. fall over Steve Grayson, OSU, 17-2 (3:56). 197-Ralph Garcia, CPU, dec. Travis Gardner, OSU, 4-2 (OT). HWT-(16) Ty Watterson, OSU, dec. Arturo Basulto, CPU, 7-0. 125-Eric Stevenson, OSU, pinned Josh Obregon, CPU, 1:33.

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