Ohio State wrestling remains undefeated in Big Ten dual play and picked up perhaps its biggest win of the season Friday.
The No. 5 Buckeyes went on the road and toppled rival No. 7 Michigan 23-15 before returning home to obliterate Michigan State 36-3 Sunday.
Freshman Jesse Mendez, the No. 9 wrestler in the country at 133 pounds, gave Ohio State a huge early boost against Michigan by defeating No. 12 Dylan Ragusin in sudden victory by a 3-1 final.
Coupled with victories over ranked opponents from No. 10 Malik Heinselman at 125 pounds and No. 18 Dylan D’Emilio at 141 pounds, the Buckeyes were out to a 9-0 against the Wolverines. That grew to 14-0 when Sammy Sasso, the No. 3 grappler at 149 pounds, tech falled Michigan’s Fidel Mayora 20-5.
Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero, the No. 5 wrestler at 184 pounds, also picked up a huge top 10 victory over No. 8 Matt Finesilver that practically put the match out of reach from Michigan, as U-M trailed 20-9 with two matches remaining. It would have needed a pin and a tech fall to equalize things.
The Wolverines didn’t get either in their next match. Instead OSU’s Gavin Hoffman, No. 21 at 197 pounds, defeated Michigan’s Rylan Rodgers 5-3 to secure the dual meet victory.
Dominance was then the name of the game Sunday against Michigan State for the Buckeyes. Only one wrestler lost his match in the dual, with MSU’s Chase Saldate beating OSU’s Paddy Gallagher at 157 pounds. Saldate is ranked 13th in the country for the weight class, Gallagher is 23rd.
The rest went according to plan for the Buckeyes. D’Emilio and Sasso recorded pins, Romero and Mendez each registered bonus-point victories (Mendez over the No. 18 wrestler in his class) and Hoffman upset No. 14 Cameron Caffey.
For more coverage of the Ohio State wrestling team, be sure to check out “On the Mat” in the latest edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin.