Eastern Michigan University’s wrestling team eventually fell to the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 16-18 on the final match after getting out to a 13-4 lead Friday night at the EMU Convocation Center.
The night’s first match was a tale of two-redshirt freshman, with Eagle Blake Caudill and Spartan Mitch Rogaliner facing off against each other in the 125 lb. match. Rogaliner started off fast and would never relinquish the lead that he claimed, going on to win by a 15-3 major decision. This gave the Spartans an early 4-0 lead over the Eagles in the match.
This would be the last time the Eagles would trail for quite a while throughout the meet.
Eastern responded in the 133 lb. match between the Eagle, Vincent Pizzuto, and Spartan, Hermilo Esquivel. With 45 seconds left in the third period, the match was tied 8-8. Pizzuto went on to win the match in a close call by a 9-8 decision.
After two periods in the 141 lb. match between EMU’s Mike Shaw and MSU’s Terry Turner, the score was tied 3-3. Within the closing minute of the third period with things now tied at 5-5, Shaw found a way to escape and pick up the win 6-5. With the win, the Eagles would pull ahead in the meet for the first time 6-4.
Eastern followed up Shaw’s win with consecutive wins by Nicholas Barber and Brandon Zeerip over Michigan State’s Terry Turner and Nick Trimble, respectively, in the 149 lb. and 157 lb. matches. The wins put the Eagles up at a healthy 13-4 lead.
Victories would be exchanged between Eastern and Michigan State for the next three matches. Out of nowhere, Michigan State found a way to fight back to take the lead, with a win by Spartan Jack Rizqallah over Eagle Mick Kirby in the 184 lb. match. Spartans up 14-13 on the meet.
Anthony Abro would put his stamp on things and put the Eagles back on top in the meet 16-14 with a win in the 197 lb. weight class over Spartan Nick McDiarmid.
The meet would end up coming down to the final match of the night, a heavyweight matchup between Eagle, Gage Hutchison, and Spartan, Chris Nash. Hutchinson put up a good fight, but Nash turned out to be very strong competition and State took the win in a 17-5 major decision to give the Eastern an 18-16 loss.
With the loss, the Eagles now drop to 7-7 on the season. The Spartans improved their record to 4-7 with the win.
The Eagles next two dual meets will be on the road as they get back to playing fellow Mid-American Conference opponents. Eastern is 0-2 on the year so far against MAC teams, but do have a 2-1 away record thus far on the season which works in their favor.
The road trip starts off at Friday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. as the Eagles meet the Kent State Golden Flashes who are 6-8 on the year and most recently coming off of a 12-27 loss to Edinboro.
EMU then moves on to face the Northern Illinois Huskies who have an 8-9 record so far this season and are most recently coming off of a 21-16 loss to Ohio. Eastern itself fell to that same Ohio team the previous Sunday by a score of 15-20.
Eastern will finally have another chance to improve upon their home record when they return home to face the Missouri Tigers on Sunday, Feb. 8, at the EMU Convocation Center.
125: Mitch Rogaliner (MSU) maj. dec. Blake Caudill (EMU), 15-3 (MSU, 4-0)
133: Vincent Pizzuto (EMU) dec. Hermilo Esquivel (MSU), 9-8 (MSU, 4-3)
141: Michael Shaw (EMU) dec. Terry Turner (MSU), 6-5 (EMU, 6-4)
149: Nicholas Barber (EMU) dec. Nick Trimble (MSU), 5-4 (EMU, 9-4)
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) maj. dec. Kaelan Richards (MSU), 18-5 (EMU, 13-4)
165: Roger Wildmo (MSU) maj. dec. Devan Marry (EMU), 12-4 (EMU, 13-8)
174: Nick Proctor (MSU) dec. Kayne MacCallum (EMU), 4-2 (EMU, 13-11)
184: John Rizqallah (MSU) dec. Mike Curby (EMU), 3-0 (MSU, 14-13)
197: Anthony Abro (EMU) dec. Nick McDiarmid (MSU), 3-0 (EMU, 16-14)
HWT: Chris Nash (MSU) maj. dec. Gage Hutchison (EMU), 17-5 (MSU, 18-16)