Rakevich Steps In For A Pin But Beavers Fall

Dec. 14, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Thrust into Sunday's lineup due to an injury, Oregon State heavyweight Jamie Rakevich responded by pinning Oklahoma State's ninth-ranked Willie Gruenwald but the Beavers fell to the No. 1-ranked Cowboys 38-6 in non-league wrestling at Gill Coliseum. For Oregon State (1-3 overall, 1-0 Pacific-10), it wrapped up a start to the season that's seen the Beavers wrestle three of the top four teams in this week's national coaches poll.

Next up for the Beavers is the Reno Classic on Thursday, where they'll face a number of nationally-ranked teams and most of the teams in the Pacific-10. When they take the mat for the tournament, Rakevich will have had a little more time to get himself ready to wrestle.

On Saturday night, Rakevich was helping run the scoreboard as the Beavers beat Oregon 23-18; the redshirt freshman had a front-row seat when the meet ended grotesquely with OSU heavyweight Ty Watterson suffering a broken arm. That put Rakevich into his dual meet debut against the Cowboys (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), and he responded by pinning Gruenwald in 1 minute, 46 seconds.

'I wasn't expecting to wrestle this weekend,' said Rakevich who had been battling Watterson in practice for the starting spot. 'That's not the way anybody wants to come into the lineup, but it happens ... I just did the same old stuff (to get ready for the meet). Go to bed, get up, come to practice - it wasn't a big difference for me. I don't tend to get nervous.'

Gruenwald scored the first takedown, but Rakevich came back with a reversal and nearly pinned the Cowboy senior before he escaped.

'As soon as I popped my head up, he tried to hit it and I caught him on his back, but I got over-aggressive; I started to roll him over and he came up,' Rakevich said. 'That gave me some confidence, only being down one (by a 3-2 score) there.'

With both wrestlers back on their feet, Gruenwald tried the same attack. Rakevich countered, took him down and straight to his back to secure the pin.

'When we came back up, I was working to get in position and to open up,' Rakevich said. 'I just tried to look for something, and that opened up.'

Said Wells: 'Jamie seized the moment - it was great. He's very capable, he's got some athletic ability, he's gifted and he's fun to watch. The guy pressed his luck and Jamie almost got him; he tried it again and Jamie caught him the second time.'

Rakevich's win was the only victory of the day for the Beavers. Oklahoma State, the defending NCAA champion, has a lineup that features eight nationally-ranked wrestlers and five of those are ranked in the top five in their weight class.

'They're a great team and they deserve to be No. 1,' Wells said of the Cowboys. 'They've got a number of outstanding individuals and they wrestle with a lot of confidence. We had a couple of opportunities that we let slip away, but they came out with a plan and kept the pressure on us.'

At 174 pounds, Oregon State's Jed Pennell made a run at top-ranked Chris Pendleton. After Pendleton built a 7-1 lead midway through the third period, Pennell scored an escape and a late takedown to make it 7-4; Pendleton added a point for riding time for an 8-4 final.

'Jed gave him a good match,' Wells said. 'He wrestled with a lot of enthusiasm and determination. He's gotten better focus, and he's taken on that leadership role now that he's one of our team captains.'

Beaver 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, ranked 18th nationally, had his five-match winning streak end in a 12-4 major decision at the hands of Cody Stites.

NO. 1 OKLAHOMA STATE 38, OREGON STATE 6

(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

125-Cody Stites, OkSU, major dec. (18) Eric Stevenson, OrSU, 12-4. 133-(4) Johnny Thompson, OkSU, dec. Tim Norman, OrSU, 9-2. 141-Ronnie Delk, OkSU, pinned Mike Unger Jr., OrSU, 2:50. 149-(3) Zack Esposito, OkSU, major dec. Tony Hook, OrSU, 12-4. 157-(14) Kevin Ward, OkSU, dec. Brian Duhrkoop, OrSU, 12-5. 165-(2) Tyrone Lewis, OkSU, tech. fall over Matt Ellis, OrSU, 22-7 (7:00). 174-(1) Chris Pendleton, OkSU, dec. Jed Pennell, OrSU, 8-4. 184-(1) Jake Rosholt, OkSU, major dec. Dan Pitsch, OrSU, 13-3. 197-(19) Rusty Blackmon, OkSU, pinned Jed Lowe, OrSU, 2:44. HWT-Jamie Rakevich, OrSU, pinned (9) Willie Gruenwald, OkSU, 1:46.

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