LANCASTER, Pa. – Joe Stolfi drew to within one of equaling Bucknell’s single-season pins record in a match that featured four of the eight contested bouts decided by bonus points, but the Bucknell wrestling team came out on the wrong side of a 23-21 score Friday evening at Franklin & Marshall. The Bison, who host VMI Saturday at 2 p.m., fell to 8-11, 4-4 EIWA on the year, while the Diplomats improved to 6-6, 2-3 EIWA.
The match featured two pins and a forfeit for Bucknell, while Franklin & Marshall recorded two major decisions to go along with a forfeit. The Diplomats, however, won three of the remaining four bouts by decision to snap a four-match winning streak in the series by the Bison.
The match was still in doubt heading into the final two bouts of the night as the Diplomats held a 20-15 lead with only 197 and 285 to go. At 197, Franklin & Marshall’s Charles Kerkesner built an 8-4 first-period lead on Bucknell’s Tyler Lyster and held on for an 8-6 victory to clinch the match.
The 18th-ranked Stolfi took to the mat against Alexander Henry and proceeded to pin him in 4:15 after jumping out to a 10-0 lead. It was the 19th pin of the year for Stolfi, placing him one shy of equaling Brian Pitzer’s program record that has stood since 1999. Stolfi is now tied for sixth on the career ledger with 28 falls.
Rustin Barrick posted the other pin for the Bison in dramatic fashion. The sophomore 165-pounder led 3-0 through two periods before Theodore King tied the score in the final period and forced overtime. In the second 30-second tiebreaker period Barrick scored a reversal and a two-point near fall before finishing with a pin of King with two seconds remaining on the clock. It was the fifth pin of the year for Barrick, who evened his overall record at 17-17.
Freshman Rory Bonner recorded Bucknell’s other victory on the night, a 2-1 decision over Paul Alessandrini at 184. Bonner had a second-period escape, while Alessandrini matched with one of his own in the third period, but Bonner earned his 10th win of the year thanks to the riding time point.
The Bison took an early 6-0 lead thanks to a Franklin & Marshall forfeit at 125. Bucknell’s forfeit – just its second in dual match competition this year – came at 141 pounds.
The Bison will wrap up their home schedule Saturday at 2 p.m. against VMI. The match will be broadcast live on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network. Seniors Bob Hauser and Stephen McPeek will be honored before the match during Senior Day ceremonies.
Franklin & Marshall 23, Bucknell 21
125: Paul Petrov (B) won by forfeit.
133: Robert Ruiz (F&M) maj. dec. Bob Hauser (B), 11-1.
141: Jason Bing (F&M) won by forfeit.
149: No. 10 Richard Durso (F&M) maj. dec. Victor Lopez (B), 13-5.
157: Andrew Murano (F&M) dec. Ray Schlitt (B), 5-4.
165: Rustin Barrick (B) pinned Theodore King (F&M), 7:58.
174: Colin Gironda (F&M) dec. Robert Schlitt (B), 5-2.
184: Rory Bonner (B) dec. Paul Alessandrini (F&M), 2-1.
197: Charles Kerkesner (F&M) dec. Tyler Lyster (B), 8-6.
285: No. 18 Joe Stolfi (B) pinned Alexander Henry (F&M), 4:15.