ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Duke University redshirt freshman Marcus Cain captured a pair of victories this afternoon to lead the Blue Devils in a tri-meet at Michigan. Duke fell to No. 14 Michigan, 30-14, and a tough Eastern Michigan squad, 30-9, at Cliff Keen Arena.
"Overall I felt like the guys in the first match didn't come out ready to wrestle," head coach Glen Lanham said. "We were flat and we didn't compete. In the second match we came out and we competed and looked a lot better. A lot of things we've been working on we did in the second match and I was happy with our performance in the second match. We just need to work on being consistent and as coaches that's on us too. We just have to put everything that we've been working on together."
Six Blue Devils came away with at least one victory, including two earning bonus points in their victories. Cain was the one Duke wrester to win twice, while redshirt freshmen Trey Adamson and Conner Hartmann both registered major decision over their Michigan foes. Duke falls to 1-3 in duals this season with two of the losses coming against the No. 13 and No. 14 teams.
"Those were definitely good wins for Marcus," Lanham said. "He wrestled two tough kids so those are two good wins for him. He's wrestling really tough right now for us. Gambucci had another good one and unfortunately in the second match couldn't go. But again, we just need to be ready to compete every time and I didn't feel like we did that today."
The Blue Devils opened the day with Eastern Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena. The Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead with a fall at 125 pounds before the Blue Devils rallied with three straight wins to go in front 9-6. Gambucci picked up the first win for Duke and his eighth of the season, outlasting Vincent Puzzuto 8-5 at 133 pounds. The Mansfield, Ohio native pushed his win streak to seven and remained unbeaten in duals at 3-0.
Sophomore Tanner Hough and redshirt sophomore Marcus Cain added consecutive decisions at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively, to lift Duke to the 9-6 advantage. Hough picked up his eighth win of the year, shutting out Michael Shaw 4-0, while Cain gathered his 10th victory of the year with a 5-0 blanking of Justin Melick.
Eastern Michigan quickly regained the lead, 12-9, with a pin at 157 pounds and never looked back en route to the 30-9 win.
Up against the 14th-ranked Wolverines next, the Blue Devils rallied after a tough start as they won three of the final matches in the 30-14 setback. Michigan raced out to a 14-0 advantage before Cain put Duke on the scoreboard with a thrilling 7-5 decision over John Evashevski at 149 pounds.
Cain started the bout with an early takedown for the 2-0 lead and added another takedown to go in front 4-1 at the end of the first period. An escape by the Winston-Salem, N.C., native made it 5-1 before Evashevski added one point to make it 5-2 heading into the final two minutes. Cain added two more points to make it 7-2 before the Wolverine escaped to make it 7-3. Evashevski added a takedown at the buzzer, but it was too little too late as Cain picked up his 11th win of the year.
After consecutive wins by the Wolverines at 157 and 165 pounds, the Blue Devils answered with three straight wins, including a pair of major decisions. Adamson, at 174 pounds, dominated the match against Brandon Hill and led 5-2 after three minutes of wrestling. The redshirt freshman continued to control from top to take a 6-2 advantage into the final stanza. Adamson quickly made it 7-2 and added a takedown and the riding time bonus point for the 10-2 major.
Bencomo followed Adamson with a hard-fought 6-3 decision over Jordan Thomas. Bencomo, wrestling in his first dual of the season, scored an early takedown in the third period to make it 6-2 and held off a final charge from Thomas to post his fifth victory of the season.
Hartmann, looking to rebound after starting the day with a narrow setback, jumped all over Chris Heald with the early takedown and built his riding time to two minutes after the first period. He stretched his lead to 6-0 after five minutes en route to the commanding 9-0 major decision.