Cal Poly Wrestling snapped a losing streak of three straight dual meets with a 19-16 victory over California Baptist on Thursday, Jan. 23 inside Van Dyne Gym. The Mustangs (3-4, 0-1 Pac-12) redeemed themselves after a 28-10 loss to the Lancers last year, who now fall to 3-7 on the season.
The Mustangs were propelled to victory by winning four straight middle matches, including a technical fall earned by freshman Bernie Truax at 165 pounds. Another technical fall earned by senior Tom Lane midway through the second period over 197 pounder Arick Lopez made the score 19-13, effectively securing the win for Cal Poly.
Lane, ranked 12th in the country at 197, improved his record to 13-3 on the season. The senior overcame an early 2-0 deficit and scored 18 unanswered points with the help of three near falls.
The Lancers started strong with two victories at the 125 and 133 pound bouts. Dilan Atjun scored nine unanswered points to earn a major decision over sophomore Benny Martinez. The Lancers took a commanding 7-0 lead with Christian Nunez earning a decision over freshman Cole Reyes.
Cal Poly responded by securing four straight bouts to turn the match around, beginning with sophomore Wyatt Cornelison. The 141 pounder took a close match to overtime with Adam Velazquez, where Cornelison scored a takedown with one second left in the sixth round to win the match 4-2.
Cornelison’s win marked a turning point for the Mustangs. Three successive victories at the 149, 157 and 165 levels powered Cal Poly to a 14-7 lead, highlighted by Truax’s technical fall over Cole Pruitt. It took Truax less than one period to achieve four straight four-point near falls, ending the match in just over two minutes. It was his third technical fall of the season, bringing his record to 11-9.
A pair of decisions earned by the Lancers at 174 and 184 gave them some hope late in the meet. Jacob Cooper overtook sophomore Nathan Tausch 7-1 before Garrett Strang defeated freshman Trent Tracy 6-5 in a tight match. Strang, former RMAC freshman of the year and NCAA qualifier, cut the deficit to one point.
However, Lane’s technical fall extended Cal Poly’s lead back to six, which was decisive in securing the victory for the Mustangs. A heavyweight bout between sophomore Sam Aguilar and Zach Schrader went in Schrader’s favor, but the Lancers failed to secure the fall needed to match Cal Poly’s score.
Cal Poly Wrestling will take a week off before they return to action on Feb. 7 against Northern Colorado. The away meet is set for 6 p.m.