No. 23 Wrestling Pins Down Wins Over Portland State, Embry-Riddle
Nov. 12, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - The 2006-07 season opened with a pair of victories for the two-time defending Pac-10 Champion Arizona State University wrestling program as the Sun Devils took down visiting Portland State (38-12) and Embry-Riddle (31-9) Sunday night inside Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. Six different wrestlers competed in their first bouts for the Sun Devils with each recording at least one victory to pace the team to a 2-0-0 record on the year with a 1-0-0 mark in the Pac-10.
After the Eagles of ERAU defeated the Vikings of PSU in the first dual of the evening, 35-6, the Sun Devils opened the defense of their 2006 Pac-10 Championship by facing conference foe Portland State. The dual opened at 125 pounds with the Vikings taking an early 6-0 lead after the Sun Devils forfeited. The deficit was cut to 6-3 following Angel Alegre's 4-3 victory at 133 before the team score was tied at six with Robert Galvan taking a 7-0 decision at 141 for the Sun Devils. Both competitors were competing in their first matches for the maroon and gold with Alegre being one of two true freshmen and one of five total freshmen to compete on the evening.
After Chris Remsen won at 149 by forfeit for a 12-6 team lead, the Sun Devils did not look back as they won the next five bouts in row. No. 1 Brian Stith, the NCAA runner-up at 157 last year, scored a 17-2 technical fall in 5:08 before No. 9 Patrick Pitsch claimed an 8-6 decision at 165. Alex Pavlenko followed at 174 with a pin of Tony Contreras in 3:25 before No. 15 Greg Gifford pinned Keena Washington in the 184 bout in 1:26, giving the senior his first win at ASU after transferring into the program following the cutting of the Fresno State program over the summer. The Sun Devils' final win came in a Jake Cranford forfeit victory at 197 (his first as a Sun Devil) before Steve Fittinger of PSU won by forfeit at heavyweight to bring the final score to 38-12.
The final dual of the night was a clash of the only remaining wrestling programs in the state of Arizona with the Eagles coming down from Prescott to take an early 6-0 lead on an ASU forfeit at 125. The fifth different newcomer to score a win for the Sun Devils put the hosts on the board as true freshman Shawn Jones picked up a 14-6 major decision at 133 to cut the deficit to 6-4. The Eagles added to their lead (9-4) as Gordo Villaescusa took a close 9-7 decision from Galvan.
The Sun Devils struck back with wins in the final seven bouts of the evening, starting with Remsen scoring a 7-5 decision at 149 to cut the deficit to 9-7 before Stith's 8-3 decision at 157 put the hosts on top for good. Pitsch followed with an 8-4 victory at 165 with Pavlenko following that with his 4-1 decision at 174. Gifford, like Remsen, Stith, Pitsch and Pavlenko, picked up his second win of the night as he scored a 10-3 decision at 184. Jason Trulson gave the Sun Devils their third pin of the evening as he took his foe down in 1:40 before another newcomer, redshirt freshman Thor Moen, pinned his heavyweight opponent in 3:56.
Next week, the Sun Devils head to Fullerton, Calif., and Titan Gym on the Cal State Fullerton campus for the Fullerton Open on Saturday, Nov. 18.
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