BEREA, Ohio – The 19th-ranked (National Wrestling Coaches Association poll from February 9) Baldwin Wallace University wrestling team improved to 4-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, clinched at least a tie for its first league title since 1973 and tied the school single-season record for wins with its 17th this season with a 42-0 victory against rival Ohio Northern University in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center.
BW can both clinch its first outright OAC wrestling title and set a school single-season record for wins if it beats OAC-rival Heidelberg University next Tuesday, February 16 in Berea at 7:30 p.m.
With its win, BW improved to 17-8 overall and leads the OAC at 4-0. The victory tied the school single-season mark of 17 wins set a year ago when it finished 17-5 overall. In addition to it being BW's first OAC wrestling crown since 1973, it was its seventh in school history (1963, 1965-66 and 1971-73). ONU dropped to 10-10 overall and 0-4 against OAC foes.
The Yellow Jackets gained a 6-0 lead at 125 pounds when sophomore Chris Doyle (Akron/ Green) won by forfeit. He improved to 22-17 this season, 3-1 against OAC foes and 41-31 in his career.
The lead grew to 12-0 when senior 2-time Division III All-American and 2-time NWCA Scholar All-American 133-pounder Jesse Gunter (Akron/ Coventry) pinned his ONU opponent in 1:42. Gunter, who received the Haier Achievement National College Student-Athlete for the Month of February after his match, improved to 26-1 this season, 3-0 against OAC competition and 112-13 in his career. His 112 wins ranks second all-time at BW. Gunter is ranked second in Division III at 133 pounds.
The BW lead moved to 15-0 when senior 141-pounder Jake Landers (Liberty Township/ Lakota East), who was wrestling for injured junior Zack Taylor (Brunswick), beat his ONU foe, 6-4. Landers came back from a 3-0 deficit after two periods to improve to 6-10 this season and 1-0 in the OAC.
Senior 4-year starting 149-pounder Joe Schmidt (Hinckley/ Brunswick) gave the Yellow Jackets a 20-0 lead when he won by technical fall by a 23-8 count. He improved to 18-8 this season, 2-1 versus OAC opponents and 80-55 in his career. His 80 wins ranks 16th all-time at BW.
At 157 pounds, BW freshman Richie Burke (Ithaca, N.Y./ Ithaca) trailed 2-1 after one period before he gained a 5-2 lead after two. He went on to win, 6-4, and BW increased its lead to 23-0. Burke won his 22nd match and improved to 22-16 this season and 3-0 versus OAC foes.
Fellow freshman and 165-pounder Anthony Arroyo (Maumee), this week's OAC Wrestler of the Week, extended BW's lead to 29-0 when he pinned his Polar Bear opponent in 1:34. He improved to 17-5 overall and 2-0 versus OAC competition.
At 174 pounds, senior Division III All-American Garrett Chase (Erie, Pa./ Cathedral Prep) dominated his ONU opponent and won, 10-4, to give BW a 32-0 lead. The win was his school career-record 123rd and improved to 27-5 this season, 3-0 versus OAC opponents and 123-35 in his career. Senior four-year starting 184-pounder Ben LeBrun (Strongsville), an NWCA Scholar All-American, beat his Polar Bear opponent, 6-5, and gave BW a 35-0 lead. The win was LeBrun's 22nd this season as he improved to 22-16 this season, 3-0 versus OAC opposition and 92-60 in his career. The 92nd victory moved him into a tie for 10th place on the all-time win list.
At 197 pounds, sophomore All-OAC and NWCA Scholar All-American Tyler Maclellan (Medina/ CVCA) won by a major decision of 11-1 as BW's lead moved to 39-0. He improved to 22-14 this season, 3-0 against OAC opponents and 38-21 in his career. Senior 4-year starting 285-pounder Joe Belford (Berea/ Lakewood St. Edward) beat his ONU opponent, 3-2, to give BW the 42-0 shutout win. He improved to 22-14 this season, 2-0 against OAC foes and 68-51 in his career. His 68 victories is 24th all-time.
The Yellow Jackets are idle this weekend and return to action next Tuesday versus Heidelberg with a chance to win an outright OAC title.
This story was edited by the SID on February 20, 2016