Wrestling Recap: No. 2 Ohio State Manhandles Maryland, 45-3

By Andy Vance on January 5, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Nathan Tomasello is back
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The outcome was never in question when Ohio State kicked off its east-coast weekend in College Park, Md., squaring off against a Maryland team that has won just one conference dual since joining the Big Ten. With senior leader Nathan Tomasello back in the lineup, the Buckeyes dominated the Terrapins from the outset, winning nine matches en route to a 45-3 victory.

Five Buckeyes scored bonus points, two more earned full marks via injury default, and nine Buckeyes emerged victories - without giving up a single takedown among them. Only redshirt freshman Kevin Snyder came up short on the evening, dropping a decision to the No. 10 heavyweight in the country.

Ohio State is now 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten, while Maryland falls to 3-5 overall and a dismal 0-5 in the conference.

Buckeye Breakdown

Points were plentiful for most of the Buckeye starters, all of whom were facing unranked opponents, many of whom have lost more matches than they've won this season.

No. 1 Nathan Tomasello Returns

This was the story of the night: the triumphant return of the former NCAA champion and unanimous No 1. wrestler in the class. Despite his absence through the first 40% of the season, Tomasello's status as the top dog at 125 has never been in question; he showed why with his first action in 13 weeks.

Going to work from the opening whistle, Tomasello drew first blood after redshirt freshman Brandon Cray misfired his own shot, and the match may as well have been over from there. Allowing his foe to escape, Tomasello showcased his renowned strength by dragging Cray back into the ring for a second takedown and a four-point near-fall.

A second escape for Cray led to another takedown and a pair of four-point near-falls to seal the tech fall and get the rout off and running.

Undefeated Still

Five Buckeyes entered College Park undefeated, not counting reigning NCAA champ Kyle Snyder, who was in Colorado Springs training with the U.S. World Team and will rejoin the Buckeyes Sunday versus Rutgers.

All five men extended their undefeated record:

  • Tomasello earned his first win of the season, and is now 1-0;
  • Luke Pletcher is 17-0 after earning a 17-6 major decision;
  • Joey McKenna improved to 5-0 with his first tech fall of the season;
  • Myles Martin and Kollin Moore each earned a first-period pin fall; Martin is now 17-0, and Moore 13-0.

So with the elder Snyder sitting at 3-0, six of 10 Buckeye starters have yet to drop a match three months into the season.

Shell-shocked Terrapins

Two Maryland wrestlers dropped their matches via injury default, each in the first minute of action.

Justin Alexander, a redshirt senior, hit the mat early on a Micah Jordan takedown, and was clearly shaken up by the exchange. After examination by the trainer on the sideline, Alexander was taken to the locker room due to concerns about a possible head injury; he would default after it was determined he couldn't continue the match.

In a surprise substitution, redshirt freshman Fritz Schierl took the mat for the Buckeyes at 174 pounds. Jordan was held out as a precaution given the lopsided nature of the meet, and Maryland's Josh Ugalde hoped to steal a victory.

Instead, he appeared to tweak his knee in an early scramble situation. After spending a moment on the sideline, he returned to action, but on the very next exchange came up hurt again, and the trainer threw in the proverbial towel.

#PinChain for Two

Myles Martin was the first Buckeye of the season to don the now-coveted Pin Chain, and he was the first one to earn the right to do so again Friday night in College Park.

Wrestling a game redshirt sophomore who looked eager to face a former NCAA champion, Martin once again showcased his speed, power and technique, picking up three takedowns and a pair of four-point near falls prior to ending the match late in the opening period.

Not to be outdone, top-ranked Kollin Moore needed only two takedowns in his match versus a freshman making his season debut, ending the match via fall just two minutes into the action.

Video Review Is Bad, Actually

Football and basketball have each had their share of controversies in recent seasons over the utility of video review in overturning close calls. With more televised wrestling, video review has creeped its way into NCAA wrestling meets as well, with the same predictable controversy.

Such was the case in the heavyweight bout between No. 10 Youssif Hemida and Ohio State's Kevin Snyder. Hemida, who had a clear size advantage over the younger Snyder, went to work early, getting Snyder on the mat and holding a 4-1 advantage after the first period, with a good amount of riding time to his credit.

Snyder had plenty of fight left in him, however, and appeared to earn a takedown of his own in a flurry of action early in the second period. Maryland coach Kerry McCoy quickly threw the brick, challenging the call and killing any momentum Snyder gained in narrowing the score.

Officials overturned the call on review, prompting a lengthy discussion with a visibly upset Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan, who clearly disagreed with the call and the replay official's interpretation of the situation. Nevertheless, when action continued, Snyder still had only a single escape to his credit, and a final takedown in the third period secured Maryland's only win of the night.

Match Results: Ohio State 45 - Maryland 3
Wt Result OSU UM
125 No. 1 Nathan Tomasello, victory by tech fall over Brandon Cray, 18-2 5 0
133 No. 3 Luke Pletcher, major decision over Jhared Simmons, 17-6 9 0
141 No. 6 Joey McKenna, victory by tech fall over Ryan Diehl, 23-5 14 0
149 No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes, decision over Alfred Bannister, 8-0 18 0
157 No. 6 Micah Jordan, victory by injury default over Justin Alexander 24 0
165 No. 11 Te'Shan Campbell, decision over Brendan Burnham, 8-2 27 0
174 Fritz Schierl, victory by injury default over Justin Ugalde  33 0
184 No. 2 Myles Martin, victory by FALL over Jahi Jones, 2:24 39 0
197 No. 1 Kollin Moore, victory by FALL over Mansur Abdul-Malik, 2:01 45 0
HWT No. 10 Youssif Hemida, decision over Kevin Snyder, 7-1  45 3

Ohio State returns to action Sunday at No. 17 Rutgers. The dual kicks off at noon, and will broadcast live via the Big Ten Network.

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