The No. 20 Stanford wrestling team dropped a close 22-14 dual to No. 13 Oregon State in Maples Pavilion on Sunday. With the win, the Beavers will now likely take the Pac-12 regular-season title.
Stanford (8-6, 3-1 Pac-12) wrestled well, but Oregon State (9-2, 4-0) was too much for the Cardinal. Five Beaver wrestlers came into the dual ranked in the top 25, and all five won matches. The winning wrestlers for the Cardinal were junior No. 8 Ryan Mango at 125 pounds, redshirt sophomore Bret Baumbach at 165 pounds, redshirt senior No. 1 Nick Amuchastegui at 174 pounds and redshirt junior Spence Patrick at 184 pounds.
Baumbach looked very good on his feet. His single leg was working well, and he reacted well to his opponent with good defense and re-shots. What was most impressive about the match was that Oregon State’s Joe Latham kept electing to go neutral, and Baumbach kept taking him down; he beat Latham at his own game.
With Sunday’s win, Mango improved to 23-5 overall and 14-0 in duals. He looked very impressive on his feet, taking good shots, quickly converting them into throws and earning near fall points. Sunday marked the first time this year that Mango has wrestled 125 pounds. Last season he was an All-American at 125, but this season he has wrestled exclusively at 133 pounds. It will be interesting to see how this transition goes.
Amuchastegui once again looked dominant. On his feet, he got extremely deep on every shot, not giving his opponent any room to breathe. And on top, the top-ranked 174-pounder in the nation looked unstoppable, punishing Oregon State’s Cody Weishoff with a deadly turk. Amuchastegui’s technical fall was the only non-minor decision for the Card on Sunday. He is now 16-0 overall and 13-0 in dual meets.
But the most exciting match of the day was definitely Patrick’s. Patrick entered the third period trailing the Beavers’ Ty Vinson 2-0 (effectively 3-0 with Vinson’s riding time). Through the first two periods, it didn’t seem like Patrick’s match—he wasn’t doing much on his feet and couldn’t find a way to counter Vinson putting in legs on top. But in the third period, Patrick took his opponent down, let him up and took him down again to tie the match and force overtime. At that point, it was clear that his opponent’s will was broken, and Patrick secured a takedown within the first 10 seconds of the sudden death period to lock up the win.
Patrick is now 15-9 overall and 11-3 in duals. He has looked very impressive lately, and this match shows how much determination he has.
Another Stanford wrestler who wrestled extremely well was sophomore heavyweight Dan Scherer. Although he lost, he put up a good fight and showed toughness. Scherer wrestled No. 5 Clayton Jack, and when the two wrestlers stepped onto the mat, everyone could see that Scherer had a 50-pound disadvantage. Despite the large size discrepancy, Scherer entered the third period up 1-0. But Jack secured a reversal to go up 2-1 and used his weight to prevent Scherer from escaping and tying the match. Scherer is now 18-9 overall and 11-3 in duals.
Despite four good individual wins, the team still lost. In all of Stanford’s six losses, the Cardinal was dominated on the mat. When Oregon State was in top position, the Stanford wrestlers rarely escaped, and the scoreboard often showed riding time in favor of the Beavers.
But a loss to Oregon State should not make any of the wrestlers hang their heads. Oregon State has multiple ranked wrestlers, and Stanford needs to stay positive moving forward to the home stretch of the season. There are only a few duals and one tournament left before the Pac-12 Tournament.
Stanford wrestles Cal Poly and Utah Valley at home on Friday.