Beavers Knock Off No. 21 Cal State-Bakersfield

Jan. 25, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State got major decisions from 165-pounder Matt Ellis, 174-pounder Jed Pennell, 184-pounder Dan Pitsch and heavyweight Jamie Rakevich to knock off 21st-ranked Cal State-Bakersfield 22-14 in Pacific-10 wrestling Sunday afternoon at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers (7-4 overall, 3-1 Pac-10) won for the sixth time in their last seven duals and handed the Roadrunners (9-1, 5-1) their first dual meet loss of the season.

Immediately after the meet, the Beavers headed for a 7 p.m. dual at Portland State. The Beavers took a load of momentum with them when they headed for PSU.

'This win and Saturday's win (over Fresno State) were really important for us,' said Ellis; he and Pennell both extended their winning streaks to seven matches. 'It was important not only for our team morale and motivation, but because they're nationally-ranked; if we keep doing the right things, maybe we end up being ranked.'

Breaking into the top 25 in the national coaches poll doesn't mean a thing when the Pacific-10 and NCAA championships roll around, but Ellis called it a good goal for the Beavers.

'It just says who your team is and who's wrestling for you,' Ellis said.

Ellis figured to have one of the closer matches of the day, as he carried the No. 1 ranking in the Pac-10 into a matchup with CSUB's Christian Arellano, who is ranked second in the conference. When 157 pounds was drawn as the starting weight and the Roadrunners' Brian Cobb, ranked 13th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, took a 12-7 win over Orlando Perez, it was up to Ellis to get the Beavers going.

Ellis, ranked 15th nationally by AWN, didn't waste any time, taking Arellano down twice in the first period, adding a takedown and a three-point near-fall in the second period and cruising to a 14-3 win. That improved Ellis to 18-6 this season; he's won 13 of his last 16 matches.

Pennell, also ranked 15th nationally by AWN and first in the Pac-10, picked up where Ellis left off with an 11-1 win over Bryan Travers. Pennell, who is one win and one pin shy of moving onto OSU's all-time career top 50s in those categories, is now 16-6 this season and has won nine of his last 10 matches.

'It was a good win, no doubt,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'We had the bonus points and that was the difference. Matt did his job, Jed did his job, then it looked like Dan Pitsch might not but he came back and got it done.'

It looked as though the Beavers' run might end at 184 pounds when CSUB's Scott O'Rear took a quick 2-0 lead and rode Pitsch for the final 2:28 of the first period. Pitsch came back with a pair of takedowns and two-point near-falls in the second period to take the lead, and his takedown with three seconds left in the match earned him a 17-9 major decision to put OSU in front 12-3 in the team score. It was Pitsch's sixth straight win; he's now 11-8 this season.

With the meet looking like it could end with five wins for each team, any of those bonus points could make the difference.

'People are wrestling more for the team,' Ellis said. 'Dan Pitsch did a great job of coming back and getting a major decision, Jed Pennell got a major decision - people do that for the team. You can go out and wrestle for yourself, and it's easier to squeak out a win by a point or two. When you work harder and get those extra points, it's for the team. (Heavyweight) Jamie Rakevich - he looked winded, but he stuck it out and got a major decision.'

After the Roadrunners' fifth-ranked Matt Monteiro got some of those bonus points back, taking a technical fall over Steve Grayson at 197 pounds, Rakevich used eight takedowns and a near-fall to top Eric Parker 20-8 and give the Beavers a 16-8 lead. Efren Ceballos, CSUB's fourth-ranked 125-pounder, ground out a 9-3 decision over Eric Stevenson.

Tim Norman guaranteed OSU at least a five-five split in the day's 10 matches when he hung on for a 3-2 victory over Jack Anaya. Norman won for the sixth time in his last eight matches and is now 10-7 this season.

At 141 pounds, Roberto Vargas kept alive CSUB's chance to win the meet when he decisioned Kyle Larson 8-3 to pull the Roadrunners within 19-14. If Anthony Baza could pin the Beavers' Tony Hook at 149 pounds, the Roadrunners would stay unbeaten.

Hook slipped in for a takedown near the middle of the first period, though, and took a 4-3 lead into the final period. He chose the down position to start the final two minutes, but Baza rode him out to gain a point for riding time and send the match into overtime. That all but guaranteed the Beavers the team win, but Hook widened the margin of victory when he took Baza down 29 seconds into the extra session; it was Hook's seventh win in his last 10 matches as he improved to 9-6 this season.

'This was an important win for us,' Pennell said. 'It was a big meet for us. We've been doing a good job getting bonus points, and those are important in the close meets.'

Of the 12 matches Oregon State won against Fresno State and Cal State-Bakersfield, the Beavers earned bonus points in eight of them. Ellis, Pennell and Pitsch all earned bonus points in both their matches against the Bulldogs and Roadrunners.

Wells was also proud of the efforts that Grayson and Stevenson put forth against wrestlers ranked in the top five in the country in their weight class. Stevenson was within 6-3 of Ceballos late in their match, and Grayson - giving up nearly 20 pounds to Monteiro - did manage a takedown in his loss.


(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

157-(13) Brian Cobb, CSUB, dec. Orlando Perez, OSU, 12-7. 165-(15) Matt Ellis, OSU, major dec. Christian Arellano, CSUB, 14-3. 174-(15) Jed Pennell, OSU, major dec. Bryan Travers, CSUB, 11-1. 184-Dan Pitsch, OSU, major dec. Scott O'Rear, CSUB, 17-9. 197-(5) Matt Monteiro, CSUB, tech. fall Steve Grayson, OSU, 6:57 (21-5). HWT-Jamie Rakevich, OSU, major dec. Eric Parker, CSUB, 20-8. 125-(4) Efren Ceballos, CSUB, dec. Eric Stevenson, OSU, 9-3. 133-Tim Norman, OSU, dec. Jack Anaya, CSUB, 3-2. 141-Roberto Vargas, CSUB, dec. Kyle Larson, OSU, 8-3. 149-Tony Hook, OSU, dec. Anthony Baza, CSUB, 6-4 (OT).

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