By Steven Gaede
The CSUB wrestling team dominated the Cal Baptist Lancers in their dual 26-7 on Jan. 26. With the win, CSUB improves to 7-3 in duals this season.
Winning the first five matches of the 10 match event, Bakersfield was in control from the get go. The first and third match were both won by major decisions, thanks to the respective performances of sophomore Adam Fierro at 157 and redshirt freshman Bryce Hammond at 174.
Fierro won his match 9-1, while Hammond won his match 10-1.
The major decisions that these two wrestlers earned were of great importance to CSUB’s victory, but the match that had everyone on the edge of their seats was the 125 matchup.
Redshirt senior Miguel Comparan found himself down 3-0 to CBU’s Taylor Hall going into the closing moments of the third period, but was able to earn two clutch takedowns; Comparan’s second takedown was issued two points milliseconds before the buzzer went off, signaling the end of the contest. This left the CBU supporters looking on in disbelief while the CSUB fans showed their excitement by cheering excessively.
“There are no surprises with him. He wrestles whistle to whistle all the way through,” Head Coach Mike Mendoza said.
With the thrilling takedown to close the end of regulation, Comparan was able to earn a hat trick of takedowns by throwing Hall to the mat early into overtime, capturing the 6-4 win.
In regards to Comparan’s performance late in the match, Mendoza said, “I’m sure in his mind, he had no doubt he was going to come back.”
Comparan’s win denied CBU from building any momentum on the 8-0 major decision Zach Merrill earned the match before. Following the nail-biting conclusion to the 125 match, redshirt senior Tyler Iwamura won at 133 6-4 and redshirt freshman Timmy Box won at 141 14-11.
Box’s bout proved to be the highest scoring of the dual, being highly contested throughout its nine minute span. Building a 6-3 lead after the first period, Box said he had his opponent right where he wanted him.
“My game plan going in was to build up a lead in the first period and I think I did that pretty well,” Box said. “I knew I had to take advantage of him on my feet. That’s my strength. He didn’t have too much on his feet.”
The second period for Box proved to be a reversal of the first, giving up six points to CBU’s Bradford Gerl without obtaining any points of his own. Despite the shifting momentum, Box bounced back in the final period to capture the win and increase the already large point lead over CBU.
“I knew he was crafty . . . I just think I got the better of him today,” Box said.
With tougher duals against Boise State Feb. 1 and Oregon State Feb. 2 on the horizon, Box is not letting the win against Gerl get to his head.
“This one was just a test to see where I’m at,” said Box. “I’ll have the Boise kid and then I’ll have like the No. 3 guy in the nation from Oregon State, the match after.”
By claiming victory over CBU, CSUB increased their win streak to three. Taking the win into account, there is still room for improvement.
“I think overall some of the others guys look good, some have not quite hit their stride yet but some of those guys are freshmen, still figuring out how to wrestle their match,” Mendoza said.
Also putting up points on the board for CSUB was redshirt freshman David Meza at 165 via a 10-4 win, redshirt sophomore Sean Pollock at 184 with a 8-5 victory and sophomore Frankie Hurtado at 197 with a 9-7 win.
The ‘Runners will return home for the final home dual of the year against Stanford Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.