Beavers Pin Loss On Fresno State 26-21

Jan. 24, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Bobby Pfennigs scored a pin at 133 pounds and Oregon State also got bonus points from 165-pounder Matt Ellis, 174-pounder Jed Pennell and 184-pounder Dan Pitsch as the Beavers beat Fresno State 26-21 in non-league wrestling Saturday afternoon at Gill Coliseum. Ellis and Pennell ran their winning streaks to six matches for OSU (6-4 overall, 2-1 Pacific-10), which will be at home Sunday at 2 p.m. against 21st-ranked Cal State-Bakersfield.

Against Fresno State (3-9), the Beavers won the day's first three matches to build a 12-0 lead, with Pfennigs' fourth pin of the season coming in the middle of that stretch. OSU eventually led 26-9 before forfeiting at 197 pounds and giving up a pin at heavyweight to the Bulldogs' 12th-ranked Clint Walbeck.

'It was pretty much a good effort from start to finish,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'We went out and controlled our position better, attacked more frequently, attempted more pinning combinations and pinning holds, and our conditioning looked better.

'This team is improving. It's starting to believe a bit. Now we've got to come back tomorrow and wrestle well against a very good team.'

Pitsch, whose 11-3 major decision over Greg Gifford clinched the team win for OSU, felt it was the Beavers' best dual of the season.

'By far,' Pitsch said. 'I think we keep getting better. Everybody is more aggressive, we're improving on our weaknesses and we're starting to click right now.'

Pitsch was a good example. The sophomore took a 9-8 record into his match against Gifford, who was 14-7 this season. Pitsch scored a pair of takedowns in the first period to go up 4-1 but Gifford closed within 5-3 with a takedown early in the second period.

At that point, Gifford released Pitsch and thought he'd be able to repeat the takedown-escape cycle often enough to overtake Pitsch. Pitsch, however, immediately went on the attack and had a takedown of his own seven seconds later for an 8-3 lead that ruined Gifford's strategy.

'After he let me go, I wanted to get a takedown of my own as quick as possible and end any momentum he might have had,' Pitsch said. He rode out Gifford for the rest of the period, took the Bulldog down out of a neutral start to the third period and rode him out again to pile up 5 minutes, 12 seconds of riding time.

'Kudos to Dan Pitsch,' Wells said. 'He came out and took it to a good kid and demonstrated he was ready to go.'

If Pitsch's win sealed the dual victory, Pfennigs' pin set the tone for it. After OSU 125-pounder Eric Stevenson opened the meet with a 6-4 decision of Sal Gonzales, Pfennigs - who has been behind Tim Norman at 133 on the Beaver depth chart much of this season - dispatched Fresno State's Shannon Slack in 4:34 to put the Beavers in front 9-0.

'That was a big boost for the team,' Pitsch said. 'We fed off that win, and I think it helps Bobby's confidence a great deal.'

After a scoreless first period, Slack chose the down position to start the second and Pfennigs made sure he stayed there.

'Bobby's tough,' Wells said of the redshirt freshman, who improved to 6-2 this season. 'He can take people down and he's been working on turning people. He got the near-fall and he was patient with it; he worked with it and secured it and made sure he got the fall. That win let everybody else take a deep breath.'

Kyle Larson's 8-3 decision over Ben Martinez at 141 pounds gave Oregon State a 12-0 lead but the Bulldogs cut that to 12-9 at the meet's midway point. At 149 pounds, Casey Olson - ranked 20th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News and 10th by InterMat - took a 6-1 decision over Tony Hook, who is ranked 20th by InterMat; at 157, it was Fresno State's Shane Seibert pinning Anthony Weber in 34 seconds.

That left it up to Ellis and Pennell - both ranked first in the Pac-10 at their weights - to return the momentum to Oregon State and score some much-needed bonus points in the process. Ellis is ranked 15th by AWN and 12th by IM, while Pennell is ranked 15th by both.

Ellis rolled to an 11-3 major decision over Sean Sheets at 165 pounds, taking him down four times in the final period to improve to 17-6 this season. Pennell then won by disqualification over Anthony Rubalcava at 174 as Rubalcava was penalized four times, three times for stalling and then for a technical violation with 25 seconds left in the match; Pennell is now 15-6 this season.


(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

125-Eric Stevenson, OSU, dec. Sal Gonzalez, FSU, 6-4. 133-Bobby Pfennigs, OSU, pinned Shannon Slack, FSU, 4:34. 141-Kyle Larson, OSU, dec. Ben Martinez, FSU, 8-3. 149-(20) Casey Olson, FSU, dec. Tony Hook, OSU, 6-1. 157-Shane Seibert, FSU, pinned Anthony Weber, OSU, 0:34. 165-(15) Matt Ellis, OSU, major dec. Sean Sheets, FSU, 11-3. 174-(15) Jed Pennell, OSU, by disqualification over Anthony Rubalcava, FSU, 6:35. 184-Dan Pitsch, OSU, major dec. Greg Gifford, FSU, 11-3. 197-Marcio Botelho, FSU, by forfeit. HWT-(12) Clint Walbeck, FSU, pinned Jamie Rakevich, OSU, 4:45.

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