FAIRFAX, Va. - The Cleveland State University wrestling team opened the 2019 portion of its season with a pair of dual setbacks Thursday evening inside George Mason's Recreation Athletic Complex.
CSU fell to Columbia, 34-12, in a neutral-site dual to start the day. In their Eastern Wrestling League opener in the nightcap, the Vikings rallied from an 18-4 deficit to take the lead against the Patriots, but GMU won the final two matches to secure a 26-19 win.
True freshman Ben Smith highlighted the day for the Vikings with a pair of bonus-point wins at 197 pounds.
Smith took a one-point lead into the final period of his first bout against his Columbia opponent. Inside the final minute of the bout, he was able to secure a pin. In his first-ever EWL bout, Smith racked up takedowns early and often en route to a 13-4 major decision victory in which he collected well over three minutes of riding time.
Redshirt senior Armando Torres collected the maximum 12 points in the two duals at 133 pounds. After taking a forfeit win against the Lions, Torres quickly dealt with his Mason opponent, posting a pin in under a minute to secure his first-ever EWL win.
Redshirt sophomore Cameron Lathem joined Torres in collecting a pin in his first-ever EWL bout. He pinned GMU's Talha Farooq with the second period winding down at 125 pounds.
Competing in dual action for the first time as a Viking Thursday, redshirt sophomore Mike Santillo posted a thrilling win at 141 pounds against the host school. Santillo trailed, 2-0, entering the final period but ended up tied after regulation thanks in part to a four-minute riding time advantage in the bout. He then secured a takedown fewer than 30 seconds into sudden victory to claim the win.
Santillo's win pushed CSU into the lead, 19-18, with two bouts left. After losing the bout at 149 pounds, Cleveland State needed at least four team points in the final bout to claim the win but was unable to do so.
Junior Chris Morrow was competitive in both of his bouts but came up on the short end of decisions twice at 184 pounds. True freshman Dimitri Williams did well to limit his opponent's offense but could not generate enough of his own in a 174-pound bout against Columbia.
Torres' fifth pin of the season upped his team-leading win total to 24. Lathem's win by fall was his team-leading sixth of the season.
Seven of the 10 Vikings to compete against George Mason took part in an EWL dual for the first time in their career.
Cleveland State will continue EWL action Friday afternoon at Rider.
Columbia 34, Cleveland State 12
165: Laurence Kosoy (COL) over Ryan Ford (CSU) - 7-2 dec. | Columbia leads, 3-0
174: Max Elling (COL) over Dimitri Williams (CSU) - 2-0 dec. | Columbia leads, 6-0
184: Joe Franzese (COL) over Chris Morrow (CSU) - 6-2 dec. | Columbia leads, 9-0
197: Ben Smith (CSU) over Michael Bulkin (COL) - Fall 6:23 | Columbia leads, 9-6
285: Danny Conley (COL) over Collin Kelly (CSU) - Fall 4:30 | Columbia leads, 15-6
125: Joe Manchio (COL) over Cameron Lathem (CSU) - Fall 4:28 | Columbia leads, 21-6
133: Armando Torres (CSU) over N/A (COL) - Forfeit | Columbia leads, 21-12
141: Danny Fongaro (COL) over Mike Santillo (CSU) - 14-4 MD | Columbia leads, 25-12
149: Cole Corrigan (COL) over Brady Barnett (CSU) - Fall 3:38 | Columbia leads, 31-12
157: Dan Reed (COL) over Nico O'Dor (CSU) - 6-1 dec. | Columbia wins, 34-12
George Mason 26, Cleveland State 19
165: Colston Diblasi (GMU) over John Vaughn (CSU) - 11-0 MD | GMU leads, 4-0
174: Cornelius Schuster (GMU) over Colton Carroll (CSU) - Fall 1:22 | GMU leads, 10-0
184: Philip Stolfi (GMU) over Chris Morrow (CSU) - 8-5 dec. | GMU leads, 13-0
197: Ben Smith (CSU) over Alex Donahue (GMU) - 12-4 MD | GMU leads, 13-4
285: Matthew Voss (GMU) over Collin Kelly (CSU) - 16-1 TF 5:46 | GMU leads, 18-4
125: Cameron Lathem (CSU) over Talha Farooq (GMU) - Fall 4:38 | GMU leads, 18-10
133: Armando Torres (CSU) over Spencer Reed (GMU) - Fall 0:57 | GMU leads, 18-16
141: Mike Santillo (CSU) over Julio Alegria (GMU) - 4-2 SV | CSU leads, 19-18
149: Tejon Anthony (GMU) over Grant Turnmire (CSU) - 19-4 TF 6:43 | GMU leads, 23-19
157: Kolby Ho (GMU) over Nico O'Dor (CSU) - 7-5 dec. | GMU wins, 26-19