Saturday, May 18, 2024

MSU wrestling can't handle Ohio State and lose 38-7, end season 2-6 in Big Ten duels

February 17, 2024
<p>Josh Terrill hypes up MSU fans after winning his match against Gannon Rosenfeld from Wisconsin at Jenison Fieldhouse on Jan. 26, 2024.</p>

Josh Terrill hypes up MSU fans after winning his match against Gannon Rosenfeld from Wisconsin at Jenison Fieldhouse on Jan. 26, 2024.

Michigan State wrestling fell to No. 6 Ohio State this Friday by a score of 38-7 as the Spartans closed out their Big Ten season with a record of 2-6 in conference duals and placed 10th in the Big Ten conference.

After the devastating loss, head coach Roger Chandler said that this season's Big Ten campaign was a “crash course” in competing at the championship level.

“They were doing a really good job at that halfway point through the Big Ten season," Chandler said. "They reverted back a little bit to some mistakes.”

The first action of the night took place in the 125-pound weigh-in as Michigan State's redshirt junior Tristan Lujan (14-11) faced off against No. 22 redshirt freshman Brendan McCrone (15-8) of Ohio State.

Lujan started the bout more aggressively than McCrone and shot multiple takedown attempts in the first period but was unable to secure three points off the back of McCrone’s strong defense.

In the second period, Lujan secured an important escape point as the two headed into the third period. It took McCrone just over a minute to secure an escape of his own as he tied the score up at one apiece and sent the match to extra time. In extra time, it took McCrone until the final seven seconds of the period to secure the winning takedown.

With a 3-0 lead, the 133-pound weigh-in followed with No. 10 redshirt freshman Nic Bouzakis (19-7) of the Buckeyes against redshirt sophomore Andrew Hampton (4-18), who represented the Spartans.

Bouzakis got to work immediately and secured a comfortable 6-2 lead due to two takedowns in the 90 seconds before pinning Hampton with just over one minute left in the first period. With Bouzakis’ quick pin, the Buckeyes established a commanding 9-0 lead in the meet.

The 141-pound weigh-in followed as Michigan State's No. 27 redshirt senior Jordan Hamdan (17-7) stepped onto the mat as he faced No. 3 sophomore Jesse Mendez (20-2) for Ohio State.

Mendez came out of the gates the more aggressive of the pair and secured three points after a takedown in the first period. Later in the second period, Mendez quickly earned an escape point before tagging on another eight points following a takedown, near fall and stalling call on Hamdan. The final period saw much of the same as Mendez dominated and secured an emphatic takedown before letting Hamdan back up to secure another takedown and finish with an 18-2 technical fall victory.

Up 14-0, Ohio State’s No. 10 redshirt senior Dylan D’Emilio (19-8) followed next as he faced Michigan State’s redshirt freshman Braden Stauffenberg (5-14).

D’Emilio established a big lead early as he secured two quick takedowns in the first two minutes of the first period before he tagged on a third in the final 30 seconds. The second period saw D’Emilio assert himself again as he secured a takedown in the first minute of the period before being awarded another four points for a near fall. Going into the third period, he was up 16-3. In the third, it took D’Emilio only 40 seconds to secure the takedown and technical fall as the Buckeyes went up 19-0 after four bouts.

The 157-pound weigh-in saw Michigan State's No. 20 Chase Saldate (20-4) face off against Ohio State's redshirt freshman Gavin Brown (1-2).

Saldate looked comfortable and in control from the buzzer as he secured a takedown not even 30 seconds into the first period and added over two minutes of riding time. In the second period, Saldate added on an escape point and takedown to take a commanding 8-0 lead into the third. In the third period, Saldate virtually neutralized Brown as he saw out the 8-0 majority decision to get the Spartans on the board.

With a 19-4 lead, Ohio State’s No. 19 redshirt junior Bryce Hepner (11-3) stepped onto the mat next in the 165-pound weigh-in against No. 9 senior Caleb Fish (21-6), who represented the Spartans.

It would take until the second period for the first points of the bout to be scored when Fish secured a takedown in the first 30 seconds to tag on over a minute-and-a-half of riding time to head into the third period. The third period was filled with action as Fish earned an early escape point before he fought off a flurry of attacks from Hepner to see out the 5-0 decision.

This brought the total score to 19-7 in favor of Ohio State.

On a two-bout win streak, the Spartans looked to redshirt senior DJ Shannon (8-14) next in the 174-pound weigh-in as he faced off against No. 11 Rocco Welsh (14-3) for Ohio State.

Welsh got to work early in the first period and secured two takedowns to take a 6-1 lead going into the second period. The second period saw minimal action as Welsh tagged on two points for escapes. In the final period, Shannon earned three escape points of his own but not before Welsh could secure a third and fourth takedown to see out the 14-4 decision.

The Buckeyes increased their lead to 17 with a score of 24-7.

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In the 184-pound weigh-in, Michigan State's No. 15 graduate student Layne Malczewski (10-5) faced off against Ohio State’s No. 23 freshman Ryder Rogotzke (12-6).

It took until the final minute of the first period for the first points of the bout to be scored. Rogotzke secured a takedown on Malczewski before Malczewski swiftly reversed the move to take a 5-2 lead heading into the second period. In the following period, Rogotzke secured a quick takedown before converting the pin to put the Buckeyes up to a total score of 30-7.

In the 197-pound weigh-in, Michigan State’s freshman Remy Cotton (6-4) faced off against Ohio State's redshirt freshman Seth Shumate (8-3).

Shumate started the bout the more aggressive of the two and secured the lone takedown of the period to take a 3-1 lead, heading into the second period. The following period saw much of the same as Shumate built on his lead and added a takedown and escape to go up 7-2. During the final period, Cotton secured an escape point which was quickly followed by another Shumate takedown, as he saw out the 10-3 decision.

With the meet decided with the score at 32-7, the final bout of the night took place in the heavyweight weigh-in. Redshirt Freshman Josh Terrill (25-11) represented the Spartans, who faced off against No. 7 redshirt freshman Nick Feldman (20-4) for the Buckeyes.

Feldman got on the board first as he secured a takedown just before the one minute mark of the first period. Feldman continued tagging on a second takedown with just a minute left in the period as he took a 6-1 lead into the second period. In the following period, Feldman added on another three takedowns to take a 17-4 lead into the third. In the third period, Feldman secured a takedown that he converted into a pin to secure the win and end the meet at a score of 38-7.

Although the Spartans lost, one teammate that has been crucial to Michigan State's season is Malczewski, someone who is set to graduate after being a part of the wrestling team since 2018. Chandler highlighted not only the importance of leadership Malczewski has brought to the team, but also his energy in general.

“He’s our energizer bunny that keeps this group together” Chandler said. “It’s going to be a bittersweet moment… Layne’s a leader of our program.”

The Spartans return to action for their final duel of the season on Friday, Feb. 23 on what will also be the MSU wrestling team’s Senior Night. The team is set to honor the graduating Spartan wrestlers while facing Central Michigan. Start time for the meet is set for 6:30 p.m. with streaming available on Big Ten Plus.


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