LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team battled Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) foe No. 8 Lehigh early, but could not overcome one of the nation's top teams, falling by a 40-6 score on Saturday afternoon at the Mayser Center.
The Diplomats dropped to 3-8, 0-4 EIWA with the defeat, while the Mountain Hawks improved to 10-1, 5-0 EIWA with the win.
Heading into 149, F&M held a remarkable 6-5 advantage in the match after a thrilling 4-1 decision from Scott Stevens (133) in the tiebreaker and key 2-1 decision from No. 15 Rick Durso over No. 18 Randy Cruz at 141.
Stevens held a 1-0 lead heading into the third before Lehigh's Drew Somers sent the bout into overtime with a late escape. In the tiebreaker, Stevens picked up an escape of his own before registering a clutch takedown to hold the advantage. Somers was unable to escape Stevens' grasp in the final tiebreaker period as the Diplomats' 133-pound grappler delivered his team three points.
In the most widely anticipated matchup of the day, Durso faced off against the EIWA's defending champion at 141 and the nation's No. 18 wrestler Randy Cruz. Durso struck first in the second period, recording an acrobatic reversal after choosing bottom to start the frame to grab the 2-0 lead. Cruz chose bottom to start the third and was awarded an escape in the early going, but was unable to put any more points on the scoreboard.
The Mountain Hawks went on a tear from that point on, winning the final seven bouts by a 35-0 margin en route to the 34-point victory.
F&M returns to action on Saturday, when another EIWA opponent Brown travels to Lancaster for a 6:30 p.m. showdown.
No. 8 Lehigh 40, F&M 6
125: Darian Cruz (LEHI) over Aaron Moldoff (F&M) (TF 23-4 6:09)
133: Scott Stevens (F&M) over Dean Somers (LEHI) (TB-1 4-1)
141: Rick Durso (F&M) over Randy Cruz (LEHI) (Dec 2-1)
149: Cortlandt Schuyler (LEHI) over Jason Bing (F&M) (MD 14-6)
157: Ian Brown (LEHI) over Sharron Townsend (F&M) (Fall 1:29)
165: Drew Longo (LEHI) over Gordon Bolig (F&M) (TF 20-5 5:19)
174: Gordon Wolf (LEHI) over Colin Gironda (F&M) (TF 18-3 7:00)
184: Nate Brown (LEHI) over Josh Young (F&M) (TF 18-0 2:18)
197: Ben Haas (LEHI) over Charles Kerkesner (F&M) (TF 16-1 3:38)
285: Max Wessell (LEHI) over Antonio Pelusi (F&M) (TF 21-3 5:36)