WORCESTER -- WPI opened with three straight third period victories as the Engineers returned to the confines of Harrington Auditorium for the first time in over a decade and posted a 19-12 victory over visiting Springfield on Saturday evening.
The Engineers, ranked fifth in the most recent New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Top 10 improves to 12-10 on the season while the No. 7 Pride slip to 11-12 overall.
Brian Amato (Newington, CT) got the bout started at 125 pounds and escaped early in the third period and then avoided a takedown by his opponent to win 6-5. The win was the 62nd dual meet victory for the sixth-ranked senior, the second most in program history behind Justin Marsh.
The next two matches were even more dramatic. No. 3 Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) found himself trailing 3-1 in the waning seconds versus his fifth-ranked opponent at 133 pounds but tallied a reversal and a four-point near fall to see his hand raised with a 7-3 victory. Not to be outdone in following bout at 141, Andrew Ellis (Arlington, MA) registered a takedown in the final seconds to turn a 6-5 deficit into a 7-6 triumph and a 9-0 WPI advantage.
Springfield dented the scoring column at 149 pounds when Jacob Strohman (Springfield, MA) (7-8, 0 pins) struck for a move with 20 seconds remain and posted a 4-3 upset over the fourth-ranked wrestler. WPI quickly countered as Ronan Ball (Maynard, MA) collected a comprehensive 10-4 victory at 157 and Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT) gave the Crimson and Gray their first bonus point win of the night with a 13-4 major decision at 165.
In matchup of regionally-ranked opponents at 174 pounds, No. 2 Geovanni Medina (New Britain, CT) was tied 1-1 and on bottom with about a minute to go in the third period when he collected a reversal and rode out his fourth-ranked foe for the victory.
Now leading 13-6 with three bouts left, the Engineers secured the team victory at 184 pounds when fourth-ranked Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) picked up his 10th victory in 15 decisions this winter with a takedown with under 10 seconds remaining in SV1 to win 3-1.
The visitors took the final two bouts of the night as third-ranked Hunter Ayen (Gouverneur, NY) delivered a 7-1 decision at 197 pounds and No. 3 Joe Fusco (Billerica MA) had a four-point near fall after a crazy sequence that featured back-to-back reversals to upended the No. 2 heavyweight 10-6 to notch his 31st victory of the season.
WPI is back at it Sunday at a noon quad meet at Wesleyan. The regular season finale will feature matches with the host Cardinals and No. 19 Centenary (NJ).
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