Diplomats Face Tough Test at No. 11 Lehigh

Diplomats Face Tough Test at No. 11 Lehigh

Inside F&M Wrestling Week 9: Mike Rogers Interview

LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team returns to Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) action on Saturday, when the Diplomats travel to take on the No. 11 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. 

To watch this week's interview with head coach Mike Rogers, click here

Looking Ahead 

Saturday, Jan. 24 – F&M at No. 11 Lehigh – 2:00 PM 


A Look at Lehigh 

F&M enters Saturday's EIWA dual with a 2-4 record, while Lehigh comes in at 9-3. Ranked at No. 11 in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll and No. 2 in the EIWA, the Mountain Hawks have won three out of their previous four contests, including a 35-3 defeat of Maryland on Jan. 11.

Lehigh has taken down three of the six ranked opponents it has faced on the season with wins against No. 11 Pittsburgh (19-12), No. 13 Illinois (24-15) and No. 17 Northwestern (30-10). The Diplomats have squared off with the Mountain Hawks on 28 separate occasions dating back to 1947 and have only picked up one victory in the series. 

Individually, Lehigh is ranked in the EIWA's top-five at nearly every weight class. Scott Parker (125) sits at No. 4, Mason Beckman is No. 1 at 133, including a No. 11 national ranking, while Randy Cruz places third in the conference at 141 and is ranked No. 20 in the nation. Mitch Minotti is second at 157 and holds the nation's No. 16 spot, while Nate Brown (184) is the EIWA's No. 2 grappler and is ranked third in the nation. Elliot Riddick holds the conference's No. 4 spot at 197 and Doug Vallaro places No. 2 at 285 to round out Lehigh's talented and balanced lineup.

Projected Lineup  

Franklin & Marshall           Lehigh 
125 - Edgar Garcia
133 - Patrick Quinlan/Scott Stevens
141 - Robert Ruiz
157 - Rob King
165 - Andrew Francos
197 - Charles Kerkesner/Antonio Pelusi
285 - Alex Henry
125 - Scott Parker
133 - Mason Beckman
141 - Randy Cruz
149 - Drew Longo
157 - Mitch Minotti
165 - Marshall Peppelman
174 - Santiago Martinez
184 - Nate Brown
197 - Elliot Riddick
285 - Doug Vollaro


Last Time Out

F&M downed Shippensburg by a 25-12 score, before falling in a narrow 23-15 defeat against Shorter at Saturday's Diplomat Duals in Lancaster. Against Shippensburg, F&M overcame losses in three of the opening four bouts to take wins in five the final six matchups, including a pair of pins, to secure the 13-point victory. Later in the day against Shorter, the Diplomats once again dropped three of their opening four bouts in the dual to fall behind by a 13-3 tally and were unable to dig out of the early hole en route to the 12-point loss.

Rob King (157) went 2-0 on the afternoon, registering a 2-0 decision against Shippensburg and following with a 6-1 decision against Shorter. 

On Sunday, F&M traveled to Millersville for the 11th annual "Shorty" Hitchcock Memorial Tournament. Scott Stevens rattled off a pair of decisions at 133 to advance into the bracket's quarterfinals. Stevens downed Maryland's Chris Reilly by a 4-1 decision in his opening matchup, before following with a narrow 4-3 win. 

Competing at 141, Tommy Quinlan responded to an opening bout defeat in the championship bracket with an opening period pin (2:17) in consolations. Colin Gironda went 2-2 at the event, including a 4-1 decision over Maryland's Inan Sikel in his opening bout. 

Wins Leaders

Freshman Patrick Quinlan leads the Diplomats with a 19-8 mark at 133, followed by Jason Bing, Robert Ruiz and Alex Henry with 14 a piece. Rob King (13), Charles Kerkesner (11) and Andrew Francos (10) round out the list of Diplomats with double-figure win totals. To view the complete 2014-15 records for F&M's wrestlers, click here.