Beavers Rally To Dump Ducks

Dec. 13, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State ran off four straight wins in the second half of the meet Saturday night - including a pin by 174-pounder Jed Pennell and a technical fall by 184-pounder Dan Pitsch - to beat Oregon 23-18 in Pacific-10 wrestling. A crowd of 1,132 was subdued as it filed out of Gill Coliseum, though, as the dual ended with OSU heavyweight Ty Watterson defaulting to Oregon's Cody Parker after suffering an arm injury.

'It's a long season and you never know what can happen,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said of losing Watterson, a redshirt freshman who is ranked second in the Pac-10. 'We're fortunate to have another man who can wrestle at heavyweight and that we've had some competition there (in practice). Jamie Rakevich will get an opportunity on Sunday. It's a difficult blow for Ty; we've just got to wait and see what the diagnosis is.'

Oregon State (1-2 overall, 1-0 Pacific-10) will wrestle No. 1 Oklahoma State in a non-league dual Sunday at 2 p.m. in Gill Coliseum. Oregon (0-1, 0-1) will be at home against the Cowboys on Sunday at 7 p.m.

On Saturday in OSU's annual wrestling homecoming, the Beavers extended their all-time lead to 98-24-4 in a series that dates back to 1915.

'It's the Civil War, we won, and it was a great evening for our team except for what happened to Ty,' said OSU 165-pounder Matt Ellis, who started the Beavers' comeback with a 3-1 win over Luke Larwin. Prior to that, Oregon State had reached the halfway point of the meet trailing 12-6 when it went to its locker room for intermission.

'We had a pretty good talk down there at the half to get us going,' Pennell said. Added Ellis: 'We knew what we had to do, and Coach Wells told us what we had to do - get in the position where we're good and stay there, and we did that in the last half of the meet.'

The second half started with a matchup of Ellis, ranked first in the Pac-10, and Larwin, ranked second. They traded escapes to start the second and third periods and appeared headed for overtime, but Ellis caught Larwin near the edge of the mat with time running out and scored a takedown with four seconds left for the 3-1 win.

'With Luke and I, it's always a barnburner,' said Ellis, who had beaten Larwin by an identical score three weeks ago in the Southern Oregon Open finals and topped him in a tiebreaker in Corvallis in last season's dual. 'It's always close and he's a tough competitor, he's strong. I knew I had to get him or we'd be going into overtime, and then it's anybody's game. I had to push myself to finish that.'

Pennell then gave up an early takedown to Oregon's Chet McBee, tied the score with a pair of escapes, and then put McBee on his back at the 5:57 mark for his team-leading third pin of the season.

'It took me a while to get going,' Pennell said. 'I was just trying to stick to my game plan - move my feet, stay in control. I just needed to pick up the pace at the start.'

Pitsch followed that with a 16-0 technical fall over Dustin Fisher in 4:08 at 184 pounds. Pitsch scored a takedown and a pair of two-point near-falls in the first period, then started the second period with a reversal and added a three-pointer, a two-pointer and another three-pointer to clinch the match.

'That was a good win for Matt,' Wells said of the Beavers' run. 'Then Jed stayed the course, got in good position, pushed the pace, got him down, turned him and pinned him. Then Dan Pitsch went out and did the same thing.'

Jed Lowe put the dual out of reach at 197 pounds, taking an efficient 5-1 win over Oregon's Jake Leair. Then came the abrupt ending to the evening, as Watterson landed awkwardly when the wrestles went out of bounds in a scramble early in the first period with no score on the board.OSU 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, ranked 18th in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News and 16th by InterMat, improved his record to 5-1 by starting the dual with a 5-3 win over Joey Lucas.

Oregon took the lead when Cyle Hartzell knocked off Tony Hook 7-6 at 149 pounds and Joey Bracamonte pinned the Beavers' Brian Duhrkoop in 5:20 at 157 pounds.

'Against the two good teams that we had wrestled, Nebraska and Lehigh, what we learned was that it boils down to doing the basics better than who you're wrestling - getting into good position and taking the action to your opponent,' Wells said. 'You've got to be the aggressor. There were several times our opponents looked tired but we weren't staying in position and making sure that ran its course. We looked tentative at places in the beginning, not real sure of ourselves.'

There were 25 former OSU wrestlers on hand for the annual homecoming. During their Oregon State careers, they accounted for 35 individual conference championships, 25 All-America finishes and seven national championships.

OREGON STATE 23, OREGON 18

(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

125-(18) Eric Stevenson, OSU, dec. Joey Lucas, UO, 5-3. 133-Jason Harless, UO, dec. Tim Norman, OSU, 4-2. 141-Mike Unger Jr., OSU, dec. Skyler Woods, UO, 7-6. 149-Cyle Hartzell, UO, dec. Tony Hook, OSU, 7-6. 157-Joey Bracamonte, UO, pinned Brian Duhrkoop, OSU, 5:20. 165-Matt Ellis, OSU, dec. Luke Larwin, UO, 3-1. 174-Jed Pennell, OSU, pinned Chet McBee, UO, 5:57. 184-Dan Pitsch, OSU, tech. fall over Dustin Fisher, UO, 16-0 (4:08). 197-Jed Lowe, OSU, dec. Jake Leair, UO, 5-1. HWT-Cody Parker, UO, inj. def. over Ty Watterson, OSU, 0:45.

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