Bridgewater, MA --- Tanner Thatcher (Blairstown, NJ), Tommy Dell'Aera (Eastchester, NY) and Tyler Riggs (North Scituate, RI) all went 2-0 on the day with a pin as the WPI wrestling team split a pair of matches Saturday at a tri-meet hosted by Bridgewater State. The Engineers dropped a tight 23-18 decision to Wesleyan in the opener before knocking off the host Bears 37-14 in finale.
With the 1-1 showing Saturday, WPI is now 3-4 during the dual meet portion of its schedule. Wesleyan (2-0) knocked off Bridgewater State (0-3) 30-15 in the middle match of the day.
Starting at 141 pounds in the nightcap against the Bears, the Engineers jumped out to a 24-0 advantage, highlighted by three pins. Antonios Sevastos (Mansfield, MA) and Ethan Wilson (Braintree, MA) got the match out to a great start for the Crimson with Sevastos notching a first period pin of his opponent at 141 pounds at 2:30 and Wilson following with a fall just four second into the second period.
Dell'Aera, who was competing for the first time since January of 2022, put the visitors up 15-0 with a 8-1 triumph at 157 pounds and Mario Barberio (Muncy, MA) followed with a 9-1 major decision at 165. Ryan Hsu (Norwood, MA) punctuated the match-opening spurt with a pin a 2:14 of his match at 174.
The two teams alternated wins from that point on with Riggs pinning his 197-pound foe at 3:56 and Thatcher dealing his opponent a similar fate with just two seconds remaining in the first period in his bout at 125.
In the opening match versus Wesleyan, the Engineers bookended victories in the first half of the contest with Thatcher blanking his opponent 6-0 at 125 pounds and Dell'Aera making his first match of the season a memorable one, pinning the fourth-ranked 157-pound wrestler in New England at 2:22 of the first period. Leading just 12-9 going into the sixth match of the day, the Cardinals secured the victory with three wins by decision, two by major decision, from regionally-ranked grapplers.
The Crimson and Gray would not go away quietly, closing out the match with an 8-4 decision by Riggs at 197 pounds and a Lucas Wilson-Wuestefeld (Barrington, RI) first period fall (1:51) at heavyweight to make the final margin just five at 23-18.
Next weekend features a busy week of wrestling at home for WPI in the Sports & Recreation Center. On Friday, the Engineers host rival Coast Guard at 6pm while at 11am the following day, the Crimson and Gray compete against Johnson & Wales, Roger Williams and Trinity in a quad meet beginning at 11am. Wesleyan is in Williamsport, PA Friday and Saturday for the Lycoming Duals while Bridgewater State host a tri-match with Hunter and Johnson & Wales Saturday afternoon starting at two o'clock.