LEBANON — The McKendree University wrestling team 13-0 trailed early, but won six of its final seven matches, including two by pinfall, to earn a 24-19 win comeback win over Lindenwood University-St. Charles on Tuesday night.
The Bearcats improved to 3-2 overall in dual matches and will travel to Somers, Wis., on Saturday to compete at the Ranger Duals, hosted by University of Wisconsin-Parkside. McKendree will face three NCAA Division II top-25 teams at the event in No. 8 University of Findlay at 10 a.m., followed by No. 17 Wisconsin-Parkside at 11:30 a.m., and No. 3 St. Cloud State University at 1 p.m.
The Bearcats lost their first three matches and faced a 13-0 deficit before sophomore Nick Haferkamp edged Colin Halpin in a 6-4 decision at 165 pounds to make the score 13-3. Haferkamp improved to 21-8 overall and is a perfect 5-0 in dual matches this season.
At 174 pounds, junior Isaiah Gonzalez recorded three takedowns in the first period and held on to earn a 7-4 decision over Matt Greene to earn his 10th win of the season, and cut the deficit to 13-6.
Freshman Andrew Krawulski had his most impressive performance of the season in a 7-2 decision win over Jake Landals at 184 pounds. Krawulski came close to holding his opponent scoreless if not for a late takedown by Landals, but the decision win cut the score to 13-9.
Sophomore Julian Smith improved to 5-0 in dual matches, and 17-4 overall this season, following a 7-2 decision win over Padraic Lynch at 197 pounds to bring McKendree within one, 13-12.
After a scoreless first period in the heavyweight matchup, sophomore Ross Janney held a 5-1 lead in the second period before he pinned Spenser Daniels in the second period at the 4:42 mark of the match. Janney's pin, his first this season, gave the Bearcats their first lead of the dual, 18-13.
Lindenwood reclaimed the lead, 19-18, following a forfeit by McKendree at 125 pounds, but junior Brenden Murphystuck Michael Caldwell at the 1:27 mark of the first period to pick up his team-high 11th pin of the season and seal the 24-19 win for the Bearcats. Murphy improved to 22-5 with the victory.