It took another must-win heavyweight match for Pitt to win the dual, the second of the season, but Demetrius Thomas was up for the challenge once again. The first came against Northern Iowa, where, like Sunday’s match against Oklahoma, Pitt won the final two bouts to secure the win. So while Meech gets all the credit he deserves, Kellan Stout has been clutch as well.
“It was a tough road win for us today,” said head coach Keith Gavin. “Kellan had a big win in the last seconds and set Demetrius up to seal the deal. Overall, it wasn’t perfect but we found a way to get it done, and I’m proud of this team’s attitude.” The Panthers are now 6-0.
In fact, Kellan likely had the biggest win for the team against OU. He faced North Allegheny graduate Jake Woodley, a redshirt freshman for the Sooners. Woodley is not currently ranked, but has a past win over No. 5 Jacob Warner (Iowa), was a two-time PA State Champ, a three-time Fargo All American, and placed 3rd at the Junior US Open. Kellan came within seconds of riding Woodley out in the second period, racking up close to two minutes of riding time. After Kellan escaped in the third, Woodley quickly took him down, making the score 3-1. Kellan escaped again, but after his riding time dropped below a minute. A late takedown and ride out made the final score 4-3, earning the Mt. Lebanon native a solid win over his WPIAL rival.
This made the team score 17-16. Even with the added pressure, Meech made easy work of Jake Boyd with a 13-2 major. I wasn’t in Tuttle, OK, but here is Meech’s quote from the UNI match about having the dual come down to him: “To be honest with you, I was super hype. Going in, in my mind, I treated it like any other match… once the crowd got into it at the end it really set in, like oh snap, I did it for the team. It was awesome.” One can be forgiven for assuming he had similar sentiments about the most recent edition.
This is the second straight year Keith Gavin’s Panthers defeated Oklahoma, and his old boss, Lou Rosselli, and the second straight year they did it in exciting fashion. Last year OU was winning 18-13 with one match remaining, and Ryan Solomon had to pin his opponent to win. He did. It’s funny how certain scripts seem to repeat themselves.
As Pitt moves into the latter half of the season, they have three more non-conference matches before beginning the ACC portion of the schedule. It’s quite possible Pitt will be 8-0 before returning home to host Oklahoma State on January 19th.
Other results include Christian Moody tech-falling Brendon Fenton, Micky Phillippi notching a comfortable decision over Anthony Madrigal 10-4, and LJ Bentley losing 4-2 to No. 8 Dom Demas. Those two wrestled in December at the Cliff Keen Invitational, where Demas won 11-5. Nice improvement. Robert Lee’s late takedowns prevented Davion Jeffries from getting the major, Taleb Rahmani held on for a 3-2 win over Justin Thomas, Jake Wentzel went to work 13-2 over Jeremy Thomas (twin brother of Justin), Anthony Mantanona pinned Gregg Harvey in just 55 seconds, and Nino Bonaccorsi edged out Kayne MacCallulm 7-5. There was no live stream, but Mantanona posted a picture on Twitter of him pinning Harvey in a near cradle (see below). The dual ended of course with Kellan winning 4-3, and Meech 13-2. The final team score was 20-17.