Pitt took 17 of 20 matches en route to destroying Gardner-Webb and Davidson on Saturday. The Panthers beat Gardner-Webb 38-4 with four backups in the lineup. They beat Davidson 31-6 with six reserves, improving their season record to 10-3. Garrett Reinsfelder, Jake Cherry, Riley Barth, Tommy O’Brien, Cole Nye, and Zach Bruce got the nod against Davidson, with Reinsfelder, Barth, O’Brien, and Bruce going against GWU.
For Reinsfelder, Cherry, Barth, and Nye, it was the first varsity action of their careers. O’Brien, who got some starting time last year at 174, looks to be Jake Wentzel’s replacement after he sustained a season-ending injury last week in practice. Bruce has started at 184 and 197 in the past, but is now up to heavyweight.
“It was good to get those two duals in today,” said head coach Keith Gavin. “We wanted to make the most out of this road trip. We have a tough team in NC State tomorrow and our guys are excited to compete.”
Brendon Fenton received two forfeits today, with neither opponent sending out a 125 pounder. That has to be frustrating.
The freshman Reinsfelder went 1-1, beating Brandon Bright of GWU 5-1.
LJ Bentley beat Blake Mulkey of GWU 5-4 in TB-1, while Jake Cherry majored Caleb Ziebell of Davidson 10-2.
Robert Lee went 2-0, earning a pin and major decision.
Riley Barth went 1-1, beating Evan Schenk of GWU 9-5.
Tommy O’Brien also finished the day 1-1, notching his win over Hunter Costa of Davidson 9-6.
Gregg Harvey wrestled a close match with Kyle Homet of GWU winning 5-3, and teched his Davidson opponent. Homet is a native of Waynesburg, PA, a trait he shares with Pitt assistant Drew Headlee. Drew’s father Ron is the head coach at Waynesburg University.
Nino Bonaccorsi pinned his first foe, and shutout his second 7-0.
Kellan Stout started vs GWU beating Anthony Perrine, while Nye earned his first varsity win over Davidson with an 8-2 decision over Finaly Holston.
Zach Bruce returned to the starting lineup with a dominant performance. He teched his opponent from GWU in the first period and beat Mitchell Trigg from Davidson 5-0.
Gardner-Webb and Davidson clearly are not formidable at the D1 level. Davidson did not qualify any wrestlers for NCAAs last year, and GWU sent one, Tyler Marinelli, who went 0-2. This was a good tune-up and an opportunity for some athletes to get experience who otherwise wouldn’t.