RICHMOND, Va. - A clutch come-from-behind win was followed by a hard-fought loss to one of the nation's best teams as Franklin & Marshall wrestling picked up a 1-1 dual split on Saturday afternoon. The Diplomats edged Gardner-Webb by a 21-19 score to open action and followed with a 29-12 loss against Campbell at the Rumble on the River, hosted by St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va.
F&M moved to 2-1 on the year while Gardner-Webb fell to 2-5 and Campbell improved to 2-0.
The win against Gardner-Webb was the Diplomats' first in the series since 2004. Beginning at 125, a pair of Bulldogs' forfeits handed F&M a quick 12-0 lead. The next two bouts went to Gardner-Webb with decision wins to begin closing the gap at 12-6, before a 6-0 victory from Emmett LiCastri at 157 put the Diplomats in front by nine.
Gardner-Webb claimed the next three contests, including a major at 165 and a pin at 174 to take the 19-15 advantage. However, it was all F&M from there as Philip Robilotto's key 8-2 decision at 197 was followed with a match-clinching 4-1 decision from Antonio Pelusi at 285 to deliver F&M a two-point win.
Against Campbell, F&M was faced with a lineup consisting of three ranked grapplers. That trio accounted for a tech. fall at 133, a major decision at 149, and a pin at 174 to help propel the Camels to a win.
LiCastri completed a 2-0 day at 157 with a clutch 8-6 decision for the Diplomats. Paddy Quinlan delivered six points to the team total with a second-period fall at 141 (3:35), and Antonio Pelusi was once again victorious at 285 with a narrow 3-2 decision win.
F&M opens EIWA competition on Saturday, beginning a New England road trip with a doubleheader against Brown (11:00 a.m.) and Harvard (5:00 p.m.).
F&M 21, Gardner-Webb 19
125: Jose Diaz (F&M) over (GAWE) (For.)
133: Mike Simonetti (F&M) over (GAWE) (For.)
141: Blake Mulkey (GAWE) over Paddy Quinlan (F&M) (Dec 19-12)
149: Chase McKinney (GAWE) over Chris Martorello (F&M) (Dec 5-3)
157: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Evan Schenk (GAWE) (Dec 6-0)
165: Tyler Marinelli (GAWE) over Jacob Conners (F&M) (MD 10-0)
174: Kyle Homet (GAWE) over Chris Bolletino (F&M) (Fall 2:38)
184: Christian Salter (GAWE) over Reid Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 3-2)
197: Philip Robilotto (F&M) over Jack Trautman (GAWE) (Dec 8-2)
285: Antonio Pelusi (F&M) over Jeffrey Linker (GAWE) (Dec 4-1)
Campbell 29, F&M 12
125: Korbin Meink (CAMP) over Jose Diaz (F&M) (Dec 5-1)
133: Noah Gosner (CAMP) over Mike Simonetti (F&M) (TF 22-6 6:47)
141: Paddy Quinlan (F&M) over Joshua Scott (CAMP) (Fall 3:25)
149: Joshua Heil (CAMP) over Cole Aaron (F&M) (MD 16-4)
157: Emmett LiCastri (F&M) over Matt Dallara (CAMP) (Dec 8-6)
165: Austin Murphy (CAMP) over Jacob Conners (F&M) (TF 17-1 5:29)
174: Andrew Morgan (CAMP) over Chris Bolletino (F&M) (Fall 3:26)
184: Chris Kober (CAMP) over Reid Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 11-5)
197: Austin McNeil (CAMP) over Philip Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 10-6)
285: Antonio Pelusi (F&M) over Odgerel Batkhishig (CAMP) (Dec 3-2)