PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers moved to 8-2 in dominating fashion on Friday night with a 38-3 win over Oregon State inside The RAC. The No.11-ranked Scarlet Knights started off strong and won all but one match on the evening.
Things kicked into high gear in a hurry as freshman 125-pounder Brandon Paetzell brought the home crowd to its feet with a pinfall win over Kegan Calkins.
“It’s huge for Paetzell to come out and do what he did,” head coach Scott Goodale said after the win. “That sets momentum, that gives you energy. That is what you need out of that 125-pound spot.”
The wins kept on rolling as Ken Theobold scored a tech fall at 158 pounds while Phil Bakuckas did the same at 174 pounds.
Meanwhile, No.6-ranked 141-pounder Anthony Ashnault scored a 15-2 major decision over Jack Hathaway.
“There are a lot of big wins in there. It is funny how Anthony Ashnault is probably going to go unnoticed tonight,” Goodale said. “He grew up wrestling that kid and tonight it was a dominating Anthony Ashnault. That is the way he is capable of wrestling. He looked really good.”
The wins kept on coming and No.14-ranked Nick Gravina brought the crowd to its feet once again with Rutgers' second pinfall of the night. It also put another exclamation point on a dominant win, which was important coming off a 37-6 defeat against No.2 Penn State last week.
“I think we really wanted to come back hard and show everybody we are attackers and really good wrestlers,” Gravina said. “I think that we kind of regrouped ourselves today and we were able to put that match behind us and start over again.”
By the final match, there was a bit of drama regarding whether or not Rutgers would be able to finish off the shutout. The Scarlet Knights held a 38-0 lead as heavyweight Razohnn Gross was set to face Flo Mat’s No.15th-ranked heavyweight Cody Crawford, who brought in a record of 15-4.
Gross wrestled Crawford to a 2-2 tie through the first two periods, but was outlasted by a final of 4-2.
“I see him getting better, I see his legs getting under him,” Goodale said of Gross. “He was in position to win the match tonight.”
The Scarlet Knights will get back at it on Sunday when Purdue comes into The RAC for a Big Ten battle that will begin at noon.
“We are going to go hard tomorrow in practice and just treat this like it is going to be any other match,” Gravina said.