Five Oklahoma State wrestlers advanced to the semifinals at the Southern Scuffle on Wednesday at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Nick Piccininni (125), Kaden Gfeller and Dusty Hone (141), Wyatt Sheets (157) and Travis Wittlake (165) each won by decision in the quarterfinals to give OSU a team-high five semifinalists. Pittsburgh and Stanford each have four.
The Cowboys lead the tournament field with 70 points, ahead of Big 12 foe North Dakota State’s 63 points and North Carolina State (61.5).
Piccininni had three bonus-point wins with an 18-second fall and two technical falls by a combined 33-0 score before 6-4 decision over Virginia Tech’s Sam Latona — who wrestled unattached — to advance to the semifinals. The No. 1-seeded Piccininni was up 5-3 entering the third period then Latona escaped and was in deep on a shot on the Cowboy’s left leg, but Piccininni was able to scoot out of bounds before a takedown was called.
At 141, top-seeded Gfeller outscored his first three opponents 23-2 with a 13-0 major decision in his season debut then used a late reversal and two-point nearfall for a 6-3 win against Binghamton’s Anthony Sparacio. Hone, who has slotted into OSU’s lineup in Gfeller’s absence this season, had two major decisions before knocking off No. 2 seed Tariq Wilson of North Carolina 6-4 in sudden victory. Hone followed his upset with a convincing 4-2 win against George Mason’s Alex Madrigal to secure a semifinal spot. Gfeller and Hone are on opposite sides of the bracket and could meet in the finals.
Sheets recorded a technical fall then back-to-back decisions against No. 4 Taleb Rahmani of Pittsburgh, 6-2, and No. 5 Kolby Ho of George Mason, 8-3, for a semifinal spot.
No. 5 seed Wittlake, a redshirt freshman, remained undefeated at 165 with a pin and two decisions against Big 12 foe Randy Meneweather of Air Force and No. 4 Jake Wentzel of Pittsburgh, 7-3. Wittlake opened up the match in the second period when he sat into Wentzel off a mat return and got a reversal and two-point nearfall.
Andrew Shomers (165) and No. 8 seed Anthony Montalov (184) are still alive in the consolation bracket. Shomers dropped a 8-2 decision to Missouri’s Connor Flynn then rattled off three decisions, and Montalov was pinned in 38 seconds by David Key (Naval Academy Prep) then won three straight, including a fall against North Dakota State’s Tj Pottinger.
No. 8 seed Reece Witcraft (133) and top-seeded Dakota Geer (197) both lost by one point in their quarterfinal bouts. Witcraft tied his match against No. 1 Micky Phillippi of Pittsburgh with a locked hands violation and an escape with 53 seconds remaining, but couldn’t overcome the riding time point in a 4-3 loss. Geer, who had a fall and technical fall to start the day, lost a scramble at the boundary line with 40 seconds left in the third and escaped, but was unable to get a takedown and fell 3-2 to No. 8 Ethan Laird of Rider.
OSU starters Joe Smith (174) and Austin Harris (285) have been eliminated. Smith, who made his debut as the No. 1 seed, looked strong early with a major decision and fall then dropped a 7-2 decision to North Dakota State’s Lorenzo De La Riva. Smith forfeited out of the tournament. Harris lost both of his matches.
Consolation Round of 8
133: No. 8 Reece Witcraft vs Cj Manley (Lock Haven)
165: Andrew Shomers vs Ebed Jarrell (Drexel)
184: No. 8 Anthony Montalvo vs Julien Broderson (Iowa State)
197: No. 1 Dakota Geer vs Zach Brown (VMI) OR Roderick Davis (Gardner Webb)
125: No. 1 Nick Piccininni vs. Caleb Smith (Appalachian State)
141: No. 1 Kaden Gfeller vs. No. 4 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven)
141: Dusty Hone vs No. 3 Real Woods (Stanford)
157: Wyatt Sheets vs No. 1 Hayden Hidlay (North Carolina State)
165: No. 5 Travis Wittlake vs No. 1 Shane Griffith (Stanford)
How to watch Day 2 of Scuffle
Live Stream: FloWrestling.org
9 a.m. — 5th Round of Consolation
11 a.m. — Championship semifinals, consolation quarterfinals
1 p.m. — Consolation semifinals
6 p.m. — Championship finals