Behind the strong performances of redshirt senior Nick Amuchastegui and junior Ryan Mango, the No. 22 Cardinal bounced back from last week’s close lost to American University to defeat the No. 18 Mustangs by a score of 23-17. The Card is now 6-5 in duals and 3-0 in the Pac-12.
Saturday’s dual against Cal Poly was highlighted by the match between No. 1 Amuchastegui and No. 3 Ryan DesRoches of Cal Poly at 174 pounds. DesRoches has placed multiple times at the NCAA Tournament, and Amuchastegui finished second at the NCAAs last season. Going into the match, many anticipated that it would be extremely close, but Amuchastegui dominated DesRoches, winning 8-0 and registering a major decision for the Cardinal.
The top-ranked wrestler dominated in every facet of the match. He recorded three takedowns from the neutral position, escaped once from bottom and didn’t let up on top, recording over three and a half minutes of riding time. Amuchastegui is now 14-0 overall and 11-0 in duals.
The other winning wrestlers for Stanford were No. 9 Mango by pin at 133 pounds, sophomore Garrett Scherer by major decision at 157 pounds, redshirt sophomore Bret Baumbach at 165 pounds, redshirt junior Spence Patrick at 184 pounds and sophomore Dan Scherer at heavyweight.
Mango’s win puts him at 16-8 overall and 11-0 in duals. He recorded his fifth pin of the season and showed why he will be a force in the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments.
Both Patrick and Scherer won in overtime. Patrick’s match was very hard-fought, and it was his ability to wrestle well on the mat that led to his win. After three periods he was down by one, but because he had over a minute of riding time, the match was sent into overtime. Neither he nor his opponent scored in the first overtime period, but in the next period Patrick secured a reversal to win the match.
Scherer’s match was won with his ability to wrestle well on his feet. Going into overtime, Scherer and his opponent were tied at one, but as time expired in the first overtime, Scherer took his opponent down to win the match by two. Scherer has quietly put together an extremely successful season. He is 16-8 overall and 9-2 in duals. The sophomore has not been ranked, but he has definitely become a wrestler to watch in the Pac-12. He might be a sleeper in postseason tournaments.
This win is huge for the team’s confidence. The team has been wrestling well lately, but the Cardinal came into this dual off a loss to American last weekend. This match validates the team’s hard work and improvement throughout the season. The Card wrestled well in all phases—top, bottom and neutral. And most importantly, the team put together a complete match, both individually and as a whole. Each wrestler fought through the whistle, and everyone came out ready to fight hard.
Sunday’s win ensures that Stanford will have a winning record in Pac-12 duals. The Cardinal has one more Pac-12 match—Oregon State at home on Jan. 29. So far the team has been very successful in the Pac-12, which bodes well for the Pac-12 Tournament in late February.
On Friday, Stanford will travel to San Francisco to take on the San Francisco State Gators at 7 p.m.