CLOVIS, Calif.- The CSU Bakersfield wrestling team proved it can go toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the country as the Roadrunners won four matches against No. 10 American (2-1) on Thursday night, but lost 26-16 at Clovis North High School.
The 'Runners (1-4) got rolling in the middle of the match when CSUB recorded three straight wins to take an 11-8 lead. Freshman 165-pounder Adam Fierro (Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS) started the hot streak with a dominating technical fall (18-3) win over Mark Cirello in a showdown that was settled at the last second. Brady Garner (R-Sr., Preston, Idaho, Portland State) kept the winning going with a 12-6 decision over Phillip Barreiro before Reuben Franklin (Fr., Murrieta, Calif., Vista Murrieta HS) helped the 'Runners take the lead with a close 3-2 decision that needed six periods to decide.
Frank Lomas (R-Sr., Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS) recorded CSUB's fourth and final win of the night when he posted a technical fall (15-0) over Corey Borshoff at 2:58.
Despite missing a few starters due to illness, including 125-pound star Tyler Iwamura (R-Jr., San Diego, Calif., Santa Fe Christian HS), CSUB wrestling coach Mike Mendoza was pleased with his team's showing.
"We wrestled better tonight. Some of our guys are really starting to turn the corner. I think performance-wise overall as a team, I think we performed better," Mendoza said. "They are a good team and they have some outstanding individuals. A couple of them, they just have some better guys. We had a couple of our guys step up against the better guys and competed."
Mendoza noted that he was very happy with Franklin's win and the heart he showed on the mat and also praised the efforts of AC Brown (Fr., Oakdale, Calif., Oakdale HS), who took an early lead on No. 14-ranked Daniel Mitchell before getting pinned.
American brought in a roster that listed four wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in the nation by Intermat including No. 1 heavyweight Ryan Flores, a Clovis North High School graduate who posted a pin at 2:54 over Steven Wood (Fr., Lemoore, Calif., Lemoore HS) in front of a crowded gym cheering for the undefeated redshirt senior.
The Roadrunners will be back in action on Friday when will return to Bakersfield and the Icardo Center to host Boise State at 7 p.m.
American 26, CSU Bakersfield 16
Exhibition Match (HWT): Blake Herrin (AU) def. Frankie Hurtado 9-0; 149: Kevin Tao (AU) def. Erik Martinez by TF (17-0) at 5:54; 157: No. 4 Ganbayar Sanjaa (AU) def. Anthony Box by dec. 9-5; 165: Adam Fierro (CSUB) def. Mark Cirello by TF (18-3); 174: Brady Garner (CSUB) def. Phillip Barreiro by dec. 12-6; 184: Reuben Franklin (CSUB) def. Thomas Barreiro by dec. 3-2 at 9:00; 197: No. 14 Daniel Mitchell (AU) def. AC Brown by pin at 1:18; Hwt: No. 1 Ryan Flores (AU) def. Steven Wood by pin at 2:54; 125: Thomas Williams (AU) def. Miguel Comparan by dec. 2-0; 133: Frank Lomas (CSUB) def. Corey Borshoff by TF (15-0) at 2:58 ; 141: No. 14 Matt Mariacher (AU) def. Dalton Kelley by dec. 7-4.