LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Chris Eddins and Brock Biddle each won by fall while Connor Craig defeated top-ranked Tony Vezzetti as second-ranked Pitt-Johnstown used a one-point deduction on the Notre Dame bench to hold off the No. 3-ranked Falcons, 22-21, in Saturday’s fifth-place match at the NWCA Division II National Duals.
“It was a very tough tournament,” said Pitt Johnstown head coach Pat Pecora, who picked up his 611th career victory to move to within five of tying former Oregon State coach Dale Thomas’ all-time wins record for coaches in all divisions.
“Overall we finished 4-1 and had no major injuries so that is a good weekend of work.”
Eddins and Biddle both finished 5-0 at 149 and 174, respectively.
“Eddins was lights out, and Brock had some great individual performances,” Pecora said as Pitt-Johnstown improved to 14-3 this season.
On Saturday, the fifth-place bout was close from the start.
After Brendan Howard gave the Mountain Cats a quick 4-0 lead with a 17-6 major decision over Johnny Craker at 125 pounds, but Notre Dame got a pin at 2:50 from top-ranked Hunter Bray in the 133-pound bout to go in front 6-4.
The Falcons increased it to 9-4 on fifth-ranked Kelan McKenna’s 7-1 decision over Jacob Ealy at 141, before Pitt-Johnstown’s top-ranked Eddins took just :49 to pin Kyle French to give the lead back to the Mountain Cats.
At 157, Taylor Misuna dealt Pitt-Johnstown’s Jacob Burgette a 16-6 major decision loss, but Notre Dame was deducted one point for a bench misconduct, and held a 12-10 lead.
The Mountain Cats responded with wins at 165 and 174 as Devin Austin defeated Jordan Tague, 7-3, and Biddle pinned Emilio Fowler at 1:22 to give Pitt-Johnstown the lead, 19-12.
The Mountain Cats made it 22-12 at 184 when fourth-ranked Craig held off top-ranked Tony Vezzetti, 7-5, to extend the lead to 22-12.
The Falcons won the final two bouts, but it wasn’t enough.
Michael Viramontes won an 8-5 decision at 197 over Tyler Oliver and sixth-ranked Jared Campbell pinned Allan Beattie at :15 to set the final.
“We had a tough loss against Kearney on Friday and were able to bounce back to finish fifth,” Pecora said.
In addition to Eddins and Biddle going unbeaten, Craig, Austin and Howard all finished 4-1 for the Mountain Cats.
Earlier in the day, Pitt-Johnstown defeated Upper Iowa, 25-15, to advance.