Lakers Take Final Three Bouts, Turn Back Cardinals

January 19, 2018

ERIE, Pa. After three-straight wins to take the lead, the Cardinals could not hang on Friday night. Mercyhurst registered victories in the final three bouts and turned back Wheeling Jesuit on the wrestling mat, 27-15.

Falling behind 11-0 to start the match, Tyler Warner posted fifth win in a row with a strong 15-2 major to put the Cardinals (5-4) on the scoreboard. After a close loss at 149, Connor Craig (157) became WJU's first 20-win wrestler as he recorded an 18-2 tech fall behind two near-fall sets. Keegan Driscoll (165) and Justice Avery (174) added decisions by 12-10 and 7-4 to give WJU its short-live lead, 15-14.

Follow the opening two matches, the Warner, the No. 2 ranked 141-pounder in Super Region I, took down the Region's No. 6 Kevin Kinyua 20 seconds into the match and added a 4-point near fall. After taking bottom to start the second, Warner (13-5) reversed Kinyua right away and turned it into another 4-point near fall and eventual 15-2 major decision to make it 11-4 for a team score.

At 149, Daniel Romero fought hard against DII's No. 2-ranked Logan Grass, who led 2-0 after the first period. Romero took a deep shot in the second to no avail and battled to a 6-0 decision defeat.

In his 20th victory of only 24 matches, Craig immediately went on top with a takedown. The freshman turned his second takedown into a 2-point near fall, before he added a third combination to lead 13-2 after two periods. Craig clinched a cradle and produced two more near-fall point series for his team-leading ninth tech fall, 18-2, in 6:54.

WJU inched closer to Mercyhust via Driscoll's 165-pound outing. The junior trailed 6-2 after a period to Gavin Wilkerson. The Cardinal immediately escaped and transitioned into a shot for a takedown to pull to within 6-5. Driscoll tied the match, 7-7, heading into the final period and outscored his Mercyhurst foe, 5-3, and earned the 12-10 decision.

Avery continued his second-year progress right away with a takedown 40 seconds into the 174 match. He went into the final two minutes tied, 4-4, with the Lakers' Nick Konyk. Avery chose down, escaped and took advantage of a fail Konyk shot for the clinching final points of his 7-4 victory. The win gave WJU its lone lead 15-14.

Mercyhurst picked up bonus points in each of the final three bouts for the 27-15 victory. WJU travels southeast from Erie to take on No. 11 Pitt-Johnstown Saturday night, Jan. 20, in another 7 p.m. dual match.

125: Eric Bartos (MERC) over (WJU) (For.) MU 6-0
133: Aidan Burke (MERC) over Marcus Jean-Baptiste (WJU) (TF 19-0 6:04) MU 11-0
141: Tyler Warner (WJU) over Kevin Kinyua (MERC) (MD 15-2) MU 11-4
149: Logan Grass (MERC) over Daniel Romero (WJU) (Dec 6-0) MU 14-4
157: Connor Craig (WJU) over Owen Watkins (MERC) (TF 18-2 6:54) MU 14-9
165: Keegan Driscoll (WJU) over Gavin Wilkerson (MERC) (Dec 12-10) MU 14-12
174: Justice Avery (WJU) over Nick Konyk (MERC) (Dec 7-4) WJU 15-14
184: Dakota DesLauriers (MERC) over Peyton Geary (WJU) (MD 10-2) MU 18-15
197: Wes Phipps (MERC) over Caleb Nice (WJU) (TF 18-1 4:41) MU 23-15
285: Jacob Robb (MERC) over Terrance Fanning (WJU) (MD 18-8) MU 27-15

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