NEW YORK – For the second straight Friday, the Columbia wrestling team defeated an opponent on its home mat by a score of 24-9. The Lions won seven bouts inside University Gym Friday, including a first period fall by 174-pounder Shane Hughes, to dispatch the visiting Buffalo Bulls.
With Columbia leading 12-6, Hughes busted open the match with his third pin of the season. Although there was no scoring through the first two minutes of the bout, Hughes and his opponent, Ryan Therrien, were very active. Hughes though, would take control of the action, slamming Therrien to the ground with one minute remaining in the opening period, before using a strong move on the mat to earn the pin in 2:12.
Buffalo held the early lead in the match, winning the 125- and 141-pound bouts. Angelo Amenta scored the Lions first points at 133 pounds with a 5-0 shutout of Justin Farmer. Following a scoreless first period, Amenta got on the board with a takedown in the second period. Starting the third period on the bottom, he quickly got to his feet for an escape and added a late takedown to push the final tally to 5-0.
Ryan Ponte moved to 2-0 in his first dual bouts of 2014, posting a 6-2 decision against Ryan Todora at 149 pounds. Ponte controlled the greater portion of the bout, holding a 5-0 lead heading into the final seconds before Todora scored a takedown with just 13 seconds remaining.
Markus Scheidel gave the Lions their first lead of the match with a hard-fought 3-1 decision in the 157-pound bout over Wally Maziarz. The Columbia first-year ended the first period on a high note, taking down Maziarz with 11 seconds remaining to go up 2-0. An escape five seconds into the second period extended Scheidel’s lead to 3-0 and would mark the only scoring of the second period. Maziarz got on the board with an escape in the third period, but Scheidel would hold off his late efforts at a takedown to earn the victory.
Columbia added three more points to its team score with Josh Houldsworth putting up a 4-0 shutout against Tyler Rill at 165 pounds. Houldsworth notched the bout’s first points at the 1:15 mark of the first period with a takedown. The second period passed without any scoring, but Houldsworth would double his count in the third with an escape and the riding time point.
Following Hughes’ victory, Zack Hernandez took the mat at 184 pounds versus Tony Lock. Lock got on the board first with a reversal in the second period, but Hernandez was able to close the gap with an escape before the period ended. Hernandez scored the equalizer with another escape 38 seconds into the third period, raising the tension in the crowd from both fan bases. The Columbia faithful would erupt with a roar less than 45 seconds later when Hernandez earned a takedown and kept Lock pinned to the mat for the remainder of the period, capturing a 4-2 decision.
Wyatt Baker capped the match for the Lions in the heavyweight bout, recording a 10-4 decision. The bout though was neck-and-neck through the first six minutes, as Buffalo’s James Benjamin tied the score at 4-4 with 1:15 left. As the clock ticked under 30 seconds, Baker made his move, getting Benjamin to the ground for two points before punctuating the win with a 3-point nearfall.
Columbia is on the road Sunday, Jan. 19, travelling to Washington, D.C. to take on American and Gardner Webb. The tri-match is slated for a noon start, with live stats available via trackwrestling.com.