Comeback Kids: Wrestling Pins Cal Poly, 25-22, for Pac-10 Win

Jan. 27, 2006

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The No. 11 Arizona State University wrestling team returned to the site of its 2005 Pac-10 Championship Friday night and took on a tough No. 20 Cal Poly squad inside Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The Sun Devils, who trailed by nine points heading into the last two bouts of the evening, came from behind to defeat the Mustangs, 25-22, to improve to 10-6 overall on the year and 5-0 in the Pac-10.

The victory marks the 13th in a row for the Sun Devils, dating back to a loss at Cal State Bakersfield (Sunday afternoon's opponent) in 2004. The win also improve ASU to 30-2 all-time against conference foes under Head Coach Thom Ortiz.

The Sun Devils and Mustangs, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the most recent Pac-10 rankings, opened the dual at 125 pounds where No. 7 Jeremy Mendoza (Sr., Temecula, Calif.) improved to 27-2 on the year by pinning John Hanks at 1:45. With his third victory in a row by fall, Mendoza put the visitors out in front early, 6-0.

But the Mustangs struck back by winning the next three bouts to take a 13-6 lead. At 133 pounds, Adam Hickey (So., Mayfield, Ohio) put up a fight, but was unable to upset No. 4 Darrell Vasquez, dropping a 15-3 major decision. Hit hard by injury at 141, the Sun Devils forfeited the bout, giving the hosts their first lead of the night at 10-4. Then, No. 18 Pat Payne (So., Poway, Calif.) dropped a 6-3 decision to Jeff Owens.

ASU fought back to tie the team score at 13 as its wrestlers won the next two bouts. At 157, No. 9 Brian Stith (Jr., Hampton, Va.) scored an 11-1 major decision over Ryan Williams before No. 12 Patrick Pitsch (So., Spanaway, Wash.) snuck out a 4-3 decision at 165. Pitsch, wrestling in his second close bout in as many duals, trailed late in the bout before scoring the match-winning takedown with just seven seconds remaining.

The see-saw battle continued with the hosts taking the next two bouts. At 174, Alex Pavlenko (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) dropped a tough, 6-5, decision to Nick Hernandez before No. 9 C.B. Dollaway (Sr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) was forced to withdraw from his bout at 184 because of injury, giving No. 11 Ryan Halsey the win and CPU a 22-13 lead. With the dual on the line, ASU needed wins and got that from the two of their go-to guys.

First, No. 10 Ryan Bader (Sr., Reno, Nev.) looked to cut into the nine-point deficit to keep his team close and picked up six team points as he pinned Chris Angle at 1:40. With the Sun Devils now trailing, 22-19, a victory at heavyweight would give ASU either a tie or a victory. No. 4 Cain Velasquez (Sr., Yuma, Ariz.), for the fifth time this season, took to the mat with his team's fate in his hands and secured the team victory as he needed just 1:08 to pin Arturo Basulto for the 25-22 team victory.

The Sun Devils remain on the road for two more duals this weekend as they are set to meet the Roadrunners of CSUB at noon Sunday in Bakersfield before making the two-hour drive to Fullerton where they will meet the Cal State Fullerton Titans in a 6 p.m. Pac-10 dual.

No. 11 Arizona State defeats Cal Poly, 25-22
- #7 Jeremy Mendoza (A) pins John Hanks, 1:45
133 - #4 Darrell Vasquez (C) majors Adam Hickey, 15-3
141 - David Roberts (C) wins by forfeit
149 - Jeff Owens (C) dec. #18 Pat Payne, 6-3
157 - #9 Brian Stith (A) majors Ryan Williams, 11-1
165 - #12 Patrick Pitsch (A) dec. Robb Maxwell, 4-3
174 - Nick Hernandez (C) dec. Alex Pavlenko, 6-5
184 - #11 Ryan Halsey (C) defeats #9 C.B. Dollaway, injury default
197 - #10 Ryan Bader (A) pins Chris Angle, 1:40
285 - #4 Cain Velasquez (A) pins Arturo Basulto, 1:08

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