Falcons Split Non-Conference Duals in Oregon
Jan. 18, 2014
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Competing in its final non-conference duals of the season, the Air Force wrestling team went 1-1 on Saturday, dropping a 30-3 road decision to 20th-ranked Oregon State, while picking up a 23-14 neutral-site victory over Southern Oregon. With their performance, the Falcons move to 8-3 overall on the season.
Against Oregon State, sophomore Josh Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) started the action for the Falcons at 125 pounds against Joey Palmer. Martinez, ranked sixth in the nation, turned in a dominant first period to take a 4-0 advantage. While Palmer battled back in the second period, Martinez was able to control the final two minutes of action to earn an 11-6 decision.
Unfortunately, Air Force was unable to score another victory against the Beavers, despite several close matches, including three battles versus returning All-Americans. At 149 pounds, freshman Natrelle Demison (Bakersfield, Calif.) dropped a 10-4 decision to No. 11 Scott Sakaguchi, while a late push at 157 pounds by senior Josh Kreimier (Fort Collins, Colo.) fell short against 13th-ranked RJ Pena in an 11-8 loss. Meanwhile, freshman Parker Hines (Ellsworth, Wis.) wrestled tough in a loss to No. 14 Taylor Meeks, finishing strong in a 13-10 decision.
The Falcons closed out the day with a dual versus Southern Oregon, ranked sixth in the NAIA. Again, Martinez started things off for Air Force, opening the match with a 11-1 major decision. The Falcons went on to win the next five bouts, picking up decisions from Carter McElhany (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and David Walker (Fr., St. Marys, Iowa) at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively.
At 149 pounds, Demison scored the lone fall of the match, pinning his opponent in 6:07, while Kreimier added a major decision at 157 pounds. Continuing Air Force's winning streak was senior Daniel Baucke (Memphis, Tenn.), who scored a decision at 165 pounds to give the Falcons the 23-0 lead.
The Raiders went on to win the final four bouts of the match, but the Falcons' early lead was enough to secure the team victory, the first ever for Air Force over Southern Oregon.
The Falcons open up their conference slate next weekend, Jan. 24 and 26, when they visit North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
#20 Oregon State 30, Air Force 3
Air Force 23, Southern Oregon 14