Beavers Roll Over California-Davis, 27-13

Feb. 18, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State got pins from 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, 157-pounder Tony Hook and 197-pounder Travis Gardner as the Beavers beat California-Davis 27-13 in Pacific-10 wrestling Friday night at Gill Coliseum. OSU 174-pounder Jeremy Larson scored an 11-5 upset of Ronnie Silva, ranked No. 1 in the conference at that weight, as the Beavers (12-8-1 overall, 7-2-1 Pacific-10) finished the regular season with their third straight win.

Oregon State now gets ready for the Pacific-10 Championships, to be held Feb. 27-28 at Cal Poly.

Against California-Davis (5-5-1, 4-4-1), the Beavers fell behind 10-6 after four matches before taking five of the night's final six weights. That sent OSU's five seniors - Adam Daniel, Matt Ellis, Joel Gibson, Steve Grayson and Tim Norman - out with a win in their final Gill Coliseum dual.

'That was a good performance,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'You get those pins and bonus points, that's the right time - at the Pac-10s, that's going to be the difference in determining the champion, the team who can pin guys and get those two points every time you get a pin. That's huge. We had three pins, we almost had bonus points from Matt Ellis, Jeremy Larson almost had another pin ... it's a good performance. We wrestled well, and it's the right time. We're real excited for next week.'

Stevenson began the meet with his team-leading fifth pin of the season, flattening Francisco Manriquez in 4:43 at 125 pounds. UCD won the next three matches to take the lead before Hook jump-started the Beavers.

Going against the Aggies' Bryan Bachar at 157 pounds, Hook immediately went on the attack and scored a takedown and three-point near-fall less than 30 seconds into the meet. In less than another minute, Hook charged Bachar for two more takedowns and recorded the pin in 1:30 to put the Beavers up 12-10 at the meet's midway point.

'I've just been turning it up,' said Hook, who has won 10 of his last 14 matches and is now 12-8 with two pins this season. 'In high school, that's how I was. I just had to get a little ticked off - I can't explain it. If you get on them right off the bat ...

'I've been trying to destroy my guys lately, especially with that heckler up there. I wanted to shut him up for a little bit. I was thinking about having him come to every match just to fire me up. He's a professional.'

'That heckler' Hook referred to was Robin Ficker, seated in the front row of the north stands. Ficker is father of UCD heavyweight Flynn Ficker who earned national notoriety for his vocal support of Washington's team in the National Basketball Association.

Ellis, ranked 16th nationally by both Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat, then took a 9-5 decision over Frank Richmond. Ellis, 11-3 this season, was working for a major decision until giving up a last-second takedown.

Larson, ranked fourth in the Pac-10, then scored his 11-5 decision over the top-ranked Silva at 174 pounds. Larson surrendered an early takedown and trailed 2-1 after one period, then started the second period with an escape to tie the score. Midway through the second, he scored a takedown, took Silva to his back and held him near a pin for almost a minute before settling for the three-point near-fall and a 7-2 lead. Larson added another takedown and two-point near-fall in the final period to wrap up the win.

'It was great,' Wells said of the win by Larson, who is now 13-7 this season. 'I don't know if it's going to affect seeding much, but it might. But he's going to be out there wrestling every time, that's the key. That's the confidence issue.'

UCD's Brandon Bear stopped Oregon State's three-weight streak by decisioning Dan Pitsch 6-4 at 184 pounds. Early in the 197-pound match, it looked as though the meet might come down to the heavyweights when the Aggies' Reed Schelger took down OSU's Travis Gardner and got him on his back, but in a span of five seconds Gardner got out of the predicament, rolled Shelger and recorded the pin in 1:39.

'He caught me,' said Gardner, who ended his six-match losing streak. 'I got a little scared at first. After a couple seconds, I knew he wasn't going to pin me so I started trying to hook his leg to get him parallel. I waited probably a little longer than I should have, but I waited until he got parallel and then took him through. I've done that a few times, but I haven't pinned a guy like that.'

Said Wells: 'I didn't understand what was going on with Travis, but then his dad told me that he wasn't going to get a dinner unless he won. He was almost pinned, then he rolled that guy over knowing that he wasn't going to get fed - it's just boiling it down to the essential elements. That doesn't happen too often, but he had him flat.'

Watterson, wrestling a dual for the first time since late January, then finished the evening with a 9-4 decision over Flynn Ficker. Watterson, ranked 13th nationally by AWN and 14th by IM, is now 18-2 on the season.

OSU 133-pounder Bobby Pfennigs also returned to the lineup after a two-week absence, falling to UCD's only nationally ranked wrestler. Derek Moore, ranked 15th by both AWN and IM, took a 12-0 major decision.


(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

125-Eric Stevenson, OSU, pinned Francisco Manriquez, UCD, 4:43. 133-(15) Derek Moore, UCD, major dec. Bobby Pfennigs, OSU, 12-0. 141-Jeff Bristol, UCD, dec. Tim Norman, OSU, 7-5. 149-Daniel Murphree, UCD, dec. Orlando Perez, OSU, 12-7. 157-Tony Hook, OSU, pinned Bryan Bachar, UCD, 1:30. 165-(16) Matt Ellis, OSU, dec. Frank Richmond, UCD, 9-5. 174-Jeremy Larson, OSU, dec. Ronnie Silva, UCD, 11-5. 184-Brandon Bear, UCD, dec. Dan Pitsch, OSU, 6-4. 197-Travis Gardner, OSU, pinned Reed Shelger, UCD, 1:39. HWT-(13) Ty Watterson, OSU, dec. Flynn Ficker, UCD, 9-4.

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