One of the side benefits of the Baker High School gymnasium refurbishment is seeing Baldwinsville’s wrestling team play host to this Saturday’s Section III Class AA championship meet.
Before that, the Bees had a pair of tune-ups, none as exciting as last Saturday’s showdown with Fulton, a rivalry that spans decades and produced another classic here, with B’ville pulling out a 34-28 victory over the host Red Raiders.
They started at 132 pounds, and B’ville claimed four in a row to claim a 15-0 lead. Spencer Woods pinned A.J. Yablonski midway through the third period of the opener, with Kevin Paul (138 pounds) stopping Tim Holden 10-3. After Connor Ross (145 pounds) outscored Colin Flynn 13-6, Steve Petrelli, at 152 pounds, won a tough 3-1 match over Aaron Yablonski.
Fulton cut the margin to 15-10 in the next two bouts before Alex Bowen stepped up at 182 pounds and routed Dylan Gorman 14-3. Gunnar Sutphen (195 pounds) needed 1:26 to pin Travis Kemp as Joe Nasoni took just 29 seconds to finish off 220-pound opponent Matt Marshall.
Now with a 31-10 lead, B’ville had to withstand Fulton’s comeback as the Red Raiders took the next five bouts, including three straight thrillers. At 99 pounds, Kevin Lewis lost, 2-1, to Roy French, with Tyler Patrick (106 pounds) dropping an 11-9 battle to Joe Abelgore and Josh Peck (113 pounds) going to overtime before Kevin Tucker beat him 6-4.
By the time David Rush lost his 120-pound bout to Mitchell Woodworth, it was 31-28, but the fact that the Bees force all of those matches to go the full six minutes kept them in front.
Still, Jeremy Pond had to beat Mitchell Labeef in the 126-pound finale since Fulton would have the tie-breaking criterium point even if Labeef only claimed a three-point decision to make it 31-31. That wouldn’t matter, though, because Pond controlled the bout from start to finish and won 6-0.