Ohio State's wrestling team pitched its first conference shutout in more than 40 years Sunday, sweeping all 10 matches versus the Maryland Terrapins. The Buckeyes improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory as five matches ended in bonus, including a trio of falls from Malik Heinselman, Sammy Sasso and Tate Orndorff.
The last time Ohio State shutout a Big Ten foe was a 52-0 drubbing of the Purdue Boilermakers on Feb. 3, 1979.
Ohio State has dominated the series with Maryland, having won all six duals the two teams have contested. The last two meetings were nearly shutouts, as the Buckeyes lost just two individual matches between the two duals.
Sunday's rout was on early, as 125-pounder Malik Heinselman put his opponent on his back midway through the second period. Leading 8-1, the Buckeye junior rolled his man and called it a day.
It's been a breakout season for the undefeated Heinselman. His first four matches of the season were victories over men who had beaten him a year ago, including Friday night's win over No. 10 Rayvon Foley of Michigan State.
It seems likely that Heinselman will find himself in the Top 10 in short order if he keeps wrestling the way he has through the first half of the condensed season, although he'll face the best in the country next week when he squares off against Iowa phenom Spencer Lee.
After Jordan Decatur and Anthony Echemendia each won decisions at 133 and 141, top-ranked Sammy Sasso took the mat and methodically went to work against Maryland's Hunter Baxter. Up 15-4 in the final period, Sasso decided to end the match with emphasis.
Ohio State's Elijah Cleary won a hard-fought decision at 157, and veterans Ethan Smith and Kaleb Romero each won their second major decision of the weekend, adding more bonus points to the Buckeye team tally.
Rocky Jordan came within a hair's breadth of dropping his decision at 184, and Chase Singletary needed extra innings to win his, but the outcome of the meet had long since been decided.
At heavyweight, transfer Greco-Roman standout and two-time NCAA qualifier Tate Orndorff showed why he's considered one of the top men in the class, ending his match in the second period. After nearly pinning his opponent at the end of the first period, Mr. Wonderful reached into his Greco toolbox and threw Garrett Kappes to the mat for the pin, completing the sweep for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State's dual-meet season is now half over, with just four meets remaining. The Buckeyes travel to West Lafayette next Sunday to face the Hawkeyes and the Boilermakers in a tri-meet, and are scheduled to face Michigan in Ann Arbor on Feb. 12, although the Wolverine athletic programs are currently paused due to COVID-19.
The Buckeyes finish their schedule with a final home meet versus Penn State on Feb. 19.
|125||No. 15 Malik Heinselman, victory by FALL over Zach Spence (3:55)||6||0|
|133||Jordan Decatur, decision over Jackson Cockrell (15-9)||9||0|
|141||Anthony Echemendia, decision over Danny Bertoni (8-6)||12||0|
|149||No. 1 Sammy Sasso, victory by FALL over Hunter Baxter (5:31)||18||0|
|157||Elijah Cleary, decision over Michael Doetsch (4-3)||21||0|
|165||No. 8 Ethan Smith, major decision over Jonathan Spadafora (24-11)||25||0|
|174||No. 4 Kaleb Romero, major decision over Philip Spadafora (19-8)||29||0|
|184||No. 13 Rocky Jordan, decision over Kyle Cochran (4-2)||32||0|
|197||Chase Singletary, decision over Jaron Smith (4-2, SV1)||35||0|
|HWT||No. 12 Tate Orndorff, victory by FALL over Garrett Kappes (4:08)||41||0|