BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team showed some fight and battled one of the nation's top teams on Saturday afternoon, but No. 11 Lehigh proved to be too much for the Diplomats to handle in a 40-6 defeat in front of 1,300 fans at Grace Hall in Bethlehem.
The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) tilt dropped F&M's dual-meet record to 2-5, while the Mountain Hawks won their third straight to improve to 10-3.
The conference's No. 4 wrestler at 125 gave Lehigh an early 5-0 lead with the help of seven takedowns in a 20-4 opening bout technical fall. In an early 9-0 hole following a major decision at 133, Robert Ruiz faced off against Lehigh's Dean Somers and managed to secure a cradle near the end of the first period to deliver six key points to the Diplomats.
Trailing by just three points heading into 149, F&M suffered a major decision at 149, a pin at 157 and another major at 165 as the Mountain Hawks went ahead comfortably at 23-6. After Lehigh's second pin of the contest at 174 and the its second technical fall at 184, Charles Kerkesner fought hard for the Diplomats at 197, but came up just short in a 6-5 loss.
Kerkesner registered a pair of opening-period takedowns to exit the first stanza with a 4-4 tie. Trailing by just one point in the third, Kerkesner earned an escape to tie up the bout, however riding time belonged to Lehigh at the end of nine minutes.
Isaiah Cromwell held his own with the EIWA's No. 2 grappler at 285, trailing by a meager 3-1 score following the second period of action. However, Lehigh's Douglas Vollaro captured three takedowns in the third to pull off the 10-3 win.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday when F&M continues EIWA competition with a 6:30 p.m. matchup against Princeton at the Mayser Center.
Lehigh 40, F&M 6
125: Scott Parker (LEHI) over Edgar Garcia (F&M) (TF 20-4 5:50)
133: Mason Beckman (LEHI) over Scott Stevens (F&M) (MD 14-6)
141: Robert Ruiz (F&M) over Dean Somers (LEHI) (Fall 2:32)
149: Drew Longo (LEHI) over Thomas Quinlan (F&M) (MD 14-4)
157: Mitchell Minotti (LEHI) over Rob King (F&M) (Fall 1:32)
165: Marshall Peppelman (LEHI) over Andy Francos (F&M) (MD 11-2)
174: Santiago Martinez (LEHI) over Gordon Bolig (F&M) (Fall 1:28)
184: Nathaniel Brown (LEHI) over Anthony Mancini (F&M) (TF 21-5 6:00)
197: John Bolich (LEHI) over Charles Kerkesner (F&M) (Dec 6-5)
285: Douglas Vollaro (LEHI) over Isaiah Cromwell (F&M) (Dec 10-3)