Stanford wrestling (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) swept its weekend matches at home, taking down Cal Baptist (2-1) before eking out an insanely close victory over Pac-12 opponent CSU Bakersfield (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12).
The match against Cal Baptist went according to script, with the Cardinal taking six-of-10 total matches in a 20-15 victory. Against a non-ranked opponent, the team let newer members compete in the later stages of the match.
Redshirt sophomore David Showunmi participated in his first collegiate bout in the 197-pound weight class. He scored a decision over his opponent for a 3-1 victory. Sophomore Brandon Kier (141-pound) and redshirt junior Walker Dempsey also competed in their first matches of the year for 3-2 and 9-6 decisions respectively.
The ranked players on Stanford’s roster won their matches as well. No. 9-ranked 125-pound redshirt senior Connor Schram took out his opponent with a technical fall 16-1 in a stunning two minutes and 35 seconds. No. 16-ranked 174-pound redshirt senior Keaton Subjeck squeezed out a victory 10-9 in a tie breaker.
With the match sealed away, No. 12-ranked heavyweight redshirt senior Nathan Butler sat out the final bout to give new members a chance to compete. No. 11-ranked 157-pound redshirt junior Paul Fox missed both of Saturday’s matches with an injury.
The subsequent match with CSU Bakersfield was far closer and full of suspense. Schram and 133-pound sophomore Gabriel Townsell won their matches easily by decision to boost the Cardinal to a 6-0 lead. Schram is still undefeated on the year.
The Cardinal’s next points came from 149-pound redshirt freshman Requir van der Merwe, who put up an impressive 7-5 decision in a hard fought bout. Unfortunately, the Cardinal lost a string of matches after this, putting them at a disadvantage going into the 174-pound matchup.
Subjeck was as stable as ever for the Cardinal in the 174-pound round, knocking his opponent off in a 8-5 decision to regain the lead for the Cardinal. Subjeck was tied with his opponent 5-5 going into the third, and he registered a reversal and 2:47 of riding time to secure the win. Subjeck is 7-0 on the season.
Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long, as 197-pound redshirt freshman Nathan Traxler fell 5-4 against the No. 11-ranked 197-pound Matt Williams of Bakersfield. He was incredibly close to pulling off the upset and putting the Cardinal ahead but lost the decision.
The score was 16-12 going into the heavyweight bout in favor of CSU Bakersfield. A late-round close decision for the Cardinal wouldn’t even be enough to take the win. With this in mind, Butler took the floor and scored a 32-second fall to get the win for the Cardinal. With a final score of 18-16, Stanford won the match in the 11th hour.
The Cardinal will continue their season this Saturday with an outdoor match against Maryland at home. The match will be part of the Big Game festivities and will happen two hours before football kickoff at the fan festival.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada ‘at’ stanford.edu