PITTSBURGH –Early pins and an upset victory at heavyweight helped 24th-ranked Pittsburgh close its regular season with a 28-9 victory over Duke in ACC wrestling action Saturday night.
The match started at 149 with Pitt's (11-5, 2-3) Mike Racciato scoring an exciting 11-9 decision over Xaviel Ramos. The match went back and forth throughout the entire seven minutes as Ramos continued to battle. Ramos scored numerous reversals to stay in the match, but came up just short despite a late push in the final period. The Panthers tacked on consecutive falls at 157 and 165 to go in front 15-0.
Bass, wrestling in his final regular season match, put the Blue Devils on the board with a 4-1 decision over Donovan McAfee at 174 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Bass outscored McAfee 3-0 after five minutes of wrestling. McAfee managed an escape in the third, but nothing more as Bass picked up win No. 17 for the season.
The following bout at 184 was a thriller despite the low score. Neither wrestler was able to score on his offense in the first two periods, with the lone tally coming from an a Zach Bruce escape in the second period. Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Schenk escaped to tie the match and force overtime just before the riding time clock clicked over one minute for Pitt's Bruce. In the sudden victory period, Schenk took his shot and scored for the 3-1 victory that pulled Duke to 15-6.
It was all Panthers in the next four matches, including No. 18 Ryan Solomon ending Jacob Kasper's 20-match win streak. Solomon scored a shot in the first period and held on in the final seconds to hand the No. 4 heavyweight just his second setback of the year.
Finesilver sent the Blue Devils out on a good note with a quality win over Nick Zanetta. Finesilver escaped in the second period and added two more takedowns in the third to add solid RPI points to his resume.
Duke will return to the wrestling room for the next two weeks in preparation for the ACC Championships at NC State March 4.