LEBANON -- The McKendree University wrestling team started its 2012-13 season with a 27-9 win over Missouri Baptist.
The Bearcat grapplers improved to 1-0 in dual matches this season, and will travel Sunday to Warrensburg, Mo., to compete in the University of Central Missouri Open. Matches begin at 10 a.m.
Sophomore Luis Alba put the Bearcats in front, 3-0, with a 13-8 decision win at 174 pounds over Andrew Carter-Johnson. The Spartans earned a win at 184 pounds to tie the match, 3-3, but a forfeit win by sophomore Julian Smith at 197 pounds, followed by a 3-1 decision victory by sophomore heavyweight Ross Janney over Luis Contreras, put McKendree back in front 12-3.
Missouri Baptist cut the deficit in half, 12-6, with a decision win at 125 pounds, but junior Brenden Murphy pinned Gabe Roman in 1:23 at 133 pounds to push the Bearcats out to a commanding 18-6 lead.
The Spartans picked up a decision win at 141 pounds to make the score 18-9, but McKendree closed the dual with three-straight wins to put the match away, 27-9. Junior Mark Marianovich earned a 7-4 decision win over Esmond Ford at 149 pounds, and sophomore Nick Haferkamp edged Espen Conley in a 5-4 decision at 157 pounds to push the lead out to 24-9. Junior Isaiah Gonzalez defeated Tyler Floyd, 4-3, at 165 pounds in the final match of the night to cap off the victory.
Cougar grappling fans had their first chance to see this year's Southern Illinois University Edwardsville squad in the Red vs. Black Intrasquad meet on Nov. 1 where the Red team picked up a 20-10 victory.
The Red team won the annual Red/Black Intrasquad match.
The Red team won 20-10.
There were nine matches on the slate.
Two wrestlers who picked up victories for the Red team were Patrick Myers at 133 pounds and Josh Wood at 197 pounds. Both are coming off injuries late last season and have been impressive so far in practice.
Cougar sophomore Cole Rogers was the lone wrestler to compete twice during the evening. He faced Wood at 197 pounds and then took on David Devine at 285 pounds in the final match. He lost both matches.
The matches in between featured many returners along with some of the new talent joining the program for the first time this season.
"We have some young student-athletes, and they are talented," coach David Ray said.
Here are the intrasquad results:
At 197, Josh Wood (Red) defeated Cole Rogers 7-4. At 133, Patrick Myers (Red) defeated Brandon Brindley 16-0. At 141,Dillon Pousson (Black) defeated Drew Vrbenec 6-5. At
157, Kyle Lowman (Black) defeated Alex Davis 6-1. At 165, Jake Residori (Red) defeated Connor McMahon 6-2. At 174, Derek Nagel (Black) defeated Deshoun White 8-0. At 184, Jake Tindle (Red) defeated Chris Johnson 7-2. At 285, David Devine (Red) defeated Cole Rogers by pin at 26 seconds.
The SIUE matmen will kick off the season Sunday when they travels to Warrensburg, Mo. to compete in the Central Missouri Open.
The all-day tournament is slated to begin at 10 a.m. inside UCM's Multipurpose Building.
The Cougars will have a good mix of youth and experience on this year's squad as seniors David Devine (285), Kyle Lowman (157), and Dillon Pousson (141) will look to lead talented freshmen such as Jake Residori (165) and Drew Vrbenec (141).
Sunday's open format will mean that more wrestlers, even those redshirting, will have an opportunity to get some matches under their belts early in the season.
Live updates will be available throughout the day on UCMathletics.com.