Top 25 Battle Goes Down to Last Match
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – No. 25-ranked Shippensburg came from behind in the final two matches here Saturday to edge No. 16 West Liberty, 24-21, in an Atlantic Region thriller at the ASRC.
Coach Mitch Smith's Hilltoppers came out strong with Steven Slack delivering a third-period fall in his 125-pound opener against David Reagan.
Darius Bunch, the nation's No. 1-ranked 133-pounder, followed with an 8-2 decision against the Red Raiders' Dante Steffenino and West Liberty had opened up a 9-0 lead.
Shippensburg's Cole Rush tried to stop the bleeding with a fall at 141 but Tanner Sutton notched a 5-2 win over the visitors' Cody Blankenship at 149 to push the hosts' advantage out to 12-6.
Josh Cornell gave West Liberty a 15-6 lead with a 7-2 decision against Brady Mentzer in their 157-pound bout but Shippensburg rebounded with a decision at 165 and a fall at 174 to knot the score at 15-15 heading into the final three matches.
Chris Cook put the Hilltoppers back on top, 21-15, with a win by disqualification against Alexi Castro at 184 but Evan Ramos kept the Red Raiders' hopes alive by edging WLU's Logan Kemp, 1-0, in an intense 197-pound bout.
That set the stage for the decisive 285-pound match which ended with a fall for Shippensburg's David Berberick at 2:22 of the opening period.
West Liberty closes out the regular season on the road Wednesday with a 7 p.m. dual at Ohio Valley University.
No. 25 Shippensburg 24, No. 16 West Liberty 21
125: Steven Slack (WLU) p. David Reagan, 6:23
133: Darius Bunch (WLU) d. Dante Steffenino, 8-2
141: Cole Rush (Ship) p. Josh Talbott, 2:00
149: Tanner Sutton (WLU) d. Cody Blankenship, 5-2
157: Josh Cornell (WLU) d. Brady Mentzer, 7-2
165: Abner Thompson (Ship) d. Miles Mazik, 7-5
174: Ryan Narber (Ship) p. Chance Morgan, 2:38
184: Chris Cook (WLU) dq. Alexi Castro, disqualification
197: Evan Ramos (Ship) d. Logan Kemp, 1-0
285: Derek Berberick (Ship) p. Ronnie D'Amico, 2:22
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