NORFOLK, Va. –Senior 133-pounder Cole Baumgartner completed a huge comeback for the Duke wrestling team as the Blue Devils rallied from 10 points down to upend Old Dominion 18-16 in a non-conference dual Wednesday night. Duke won the final three bouts to stop its three-match losing streak.
Duke improves to 3-5 overall while Old Dominion falls to 4-8. The Blue Devils are now 2-2 on the road.
Trailing 16-6 with three bouts remaining, Duke heavyweight Jacob Kasper sparked the comeback in a big way with a first-period pin at heavyweight. The nation’s fifth-ranked heavyweight wasted no time and put Will Hilliard on his back and got the pin in just 57 seconds. The fall was his seventh of the year and fourth in duals, while the victory extends his win streak to 16 matches.
The Blue Devils, sensing momentum shifting in their favor, got three more points from a strong showing at 125 by Thayer Atkins. The junior turned in a solid seven-minute performance, building a 4-1 lead in the first period and stretching it to 8-2 in the third. Monarch Steven Simpson did well to avoid the major decision as Atkins came away with the 10-5 decision to bring Duke within one, 16-15.
The nine-point swing in Duke’s direction meant it was all up to the Baumgartner. Facing a familiar face in Alex Madrigal, Baumgartner avenged an early season major decision to the Monarch redshirt freshman. Baumgartner was outstanding on defense in the first period and the pair headed into the second scoreless. Madrigal elected to start in the down position in the second and Baumgartner took advantage and built his riding time to two minutes.
Starting the third period on bottom, Baumgartner battled Madrigal tough and escaped 53 seconds into the third period to keep his riding time bonus point alive. Madrigal took a shot in the final 30 seconds, but Baumgartner refused to lose and came away with the 2-0 decision and Duke victory. The win was his 15th of the year.
The match started at 141 pounds overall with Duke redshirt sophomore Zach Finesilver picking up three points with a 4-1 decision over Kevin Budock. Finesilver scored a takedown after about two minutes of wrestling in the first period and rode well to finish out the stanza with a 2-0 lead.
The Colorado native extended his lead to 4-0 with a reversal late in the second period and did well to ride in the third and hold off a few final shots from Budock late in the final session for his 12th victory of the year.
The Monarchs responded with a decision from Michael Hayes over Duke’s Xaviel Ramos at 149. The Duke junior trailed 8-0 in the third period, but had a strong finish to avoid the major decision to keep the Blue Devils from falling behind.
As expected heading into the dual, the back and forth scoring continued at 157 with Blue Devil senior Jake Faust putting Duke back in front with a 5-1 decision over Austin Eads. Faust went to his offense early in the match, scoring a takedown and a 2-1 lead after the first period. He was outstanding on top in the second, riding out the entire two minutes, to maintain his 2-1 advantage. Faust scored a reversal right off the bat in the third period to secure the 5-1 decision.
Old Dominion secured wins in the next three bouts to stretch its lead to 16-6 and set up Duke for the exciting come-from-behind victory. The Monarchs managed bonus points in just one match tonight, a fact that had haunted the Blue Devils at points this season.
The Blue Devils return to ACC wrestling Sunday, Jan. 29 at No. 5 Virginia Tech. The match is slated to start at 2 p.m., at the Moss Arts Center.
Duke 18, Old Dominion 16
141: Zach Finesilver (Duke) dec. Kevin Budock (ODU), 4-1 | Duke 3, Old Dominion 0
149: Michael Hayes (ODU) dec. Xaviel Ramos (Duke), 9-2 | Duke 3, Old Dominion 3
157: Jake Faust (Duke) dec. Austin Eads (ODU), 5-1 | Duke 6, Old Dominion 3
165: No. 15 Seldon Wright (ODU) major dec. Garrett Neff (Duke), 10-2 | Duke 6, Old Dominion 7
174: Antonio Agee (ODU) dec. Michael Wright (Duke), 4-1 | Duke 6, Old Dominion 10
184: No. 9 Jack Dechow (ODU) dec. Alec Schenk (Duke), 6-4 | Duke 6, Old Dominion 13
197: No. 11 Kevin Beazley (ODU) dec. Luke Farinaro (Duke), 6-1 | Duke 6, Old Dominion 16
285: No. 5 Jacob Kasper (Duke) fall Will Hilliard (ODU), 0:57 | Duke 12, Old Dominion 16
125: Thayer Atkins (Duke) dec. Steven Simpson (ODU), 10-5 | Duke 15, Old Dominion 16
133: Cole Baumgartner (Duke) dec. Alex Madrigal (ODU), 2-0 | Duke 18, Old Dominion16