EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – With wins at 141 and 149 pounds, Kyle Milanese (Delran, N.J.) and Jack Barrett (Metuchen, N.J.) lifted the Rutgers wrestling team to its third-straight Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) win in a 20-15 decision over East Stroudsburg on Wednesday night.
"The match was a little tighter than we felt it should have been," said Rutgers' all-time winningest coach John Sacchi. "Our lightweights really came through for us and Kyle and Jack had two good wins over two of their best kids. Both of them did a good job controlling their opponent and they deserve a lot of credit for battling."
The Scarlet Knights (3-2, 3-1 EIWA) found themselves at an early disadvantage, dropping the opening two matches at 157 and 165 pounds and trailing East Stroudsburg (0-6, 0-2 EIWA). In the third bout of the night, Mike Whalen (Lake Hiawatha, N.J.) came up with a 3-1 decision win over the Warriors' Shane Mallory to put Rutgers on the score board.
Following an East Stroudsburg pin at the 184-pound bout, the Warriors led, 12-3. Due to an injury, Rutgers was awarded a forfeit at 197 pounds, cutting the lead to 12-9 halfway through the match. At the heavyweight bout, Mike D'Amico (Kenilworth, N.J.) fell in a tough 3-1 decision, giving ESU a 15-9 edge going into the lightweights.
At 125 pounds, Ryan Jablonski (Norristown, Pa.) wrestled in his first dual match of the season, posting an 11-4 decision win, including two takedowns and three backpoints, and catalyzing a comeback from the Scarlet Knights. Dan Hilt (Manalapan, N.J.) scored a takedown with 35 seconds left in the opening overtime period to post a 3-1 decision over the Warriors' Matt Swallow, bringing Rutgers within one as ESU led, 15-14.
Milanese scored a takedown in the first period en route to the 4-2 decision over Sean Carr at 141 pounds, which gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the match. The two exchanged takedowns and, after Carr let Milanese up from the defensive position to start the third, the RU junior was able to defend any offensive attacks from Carr and earned a point from riding time to win the decision.
Leading 4-3 on two escapes and a takedown after the second period, Barrett held on for a 6-5 decision over the Warriors' Scott Heckman to seal the victory for the Scarlet Knights. Heckman, having chosen the defensive position in the third period, escaped in the opening seconds to tie the match at four. After a takedown, Barrett was able to fight off any attacks by Heckman following the escape, holding on for the win.
The Scarlet Knights will host Army and the Merchant Marine Academy on Sunday, Jan. 14, starting at 2:00 p.m. at the College Avenue Gym. The opening match will feature Rutgers versus Army, followed by the Merchant Marine Academy against Army. In the final match of the day the Scarlet Knights will face the Merchant Marine Academy in a dual.
Rutgers 20, ESU 15
January 10, 2007 Koehler Fieldhouse
157 – Ben Bishop (ESU) dec. Chris Norell, 7-3
165 – Leif Ruschmeyer (ESU) dec. Matt Pletcher, 8-3
174 – Mike Whalen (RU) def. Shane Mallory, 3-1
184 – Dave Williams (ESU) pinned Keith Dobish, 6:11
197 – Lamar Brown (RU) won by forfeit
285 – Charles Deighton (ESU) dec. Mike D'Amico, 3-1
125 – Ryan Jablonski (RU) dec. Steve Gambino, 11-4
133 – Dan Hilt (RU) def. Matt Swallow 3-1 OT
141 – Kyle Milanese (RU) def. Sean Carr, 4-2
149 – Jack Barrett (RU) dec. Scott Heckman, 6-5
*Rutgers had one team point deducted for unsportmanslike conduct
Referee: Fred Richardson