BOONE — Two pins after intermission helped Appalachian State wrestling stay in the championship hunt with a 30-9 home victory against SIU-Edwardsville on Sunday at Varsity Gym.
The Mountaineers (5-3, 3-0 SoCon) took a 15-3 lead into the intermission and they moved ahead 27-3 thanks to back-to-back pins from 197-pound junior Randall Diabe (in overtime) and sophomore heavyweight Cary Miller.
“I’m really excited for our 197-pounder — Randall really just wrestled a hard, focused match,” App State coach JohnMark Bentley said. “There were a couple instances when he could have lost focus, and he didn’t. He kept attacking and ultimately got a pin in overtime by continuing to wrestle.
“I thought that was a big step for him mentally, and it was a big boost for our team coming out of the break.”
Appalachian won six of the first seven matches Sunday, starting with a 6-4 decision via sudden victory by Gavin Londoff at 149 pounds. He executed a takedown of Tyshawn Williams only 22 seconds into their extra period.
Angel Najar posted a 13-6 decision against Karsten Van Velsor at 157 pounds, and App State moved ahead 12-3 thanks to Forrest Przybysz’s win by forfeit at 174 pounds. The lead increased to 15-3 following a 6-5 decision by Alan Clothier, who broke the final tie with a quick escape to open the third period against Bryce Shewan at 184 pounds.
Diabe led 1-0 entering the third period against Christian Dulaney, who brought a 14-7 record to Boone. Dulaney tied the match with a third-period escape, and 16 seconds were left in the first sudden-victory period when Diabe picked up the win by fall.
“I saw an opening,” Diabe said. “He kept stopping my shots, but I knew if I kept going after him, I was going to score on one of them. I kept going and kept pushing and got what I wanted.”
Miller needed only 2:01 to record his pin against Tommy Helton, and the Mountaineers closed the match with an 8-4 decision from Irvin Enriquez in his victory against Dakota Leach at 141 pounds.
With redshirt freshman Thomas Flitz (165), true freshman De’Andre Swinson-Barr (125) and redshirt freshman Codi Russell (133) also in the App State lineup, SIU-Edwardsville (3-12, 1-2) posted its three wins by a combined five points.
“I think this team is growing,” Bentley said. “At 125 and 133, we’re starting to turn the corner, and we’re getting better.”
The Mountaineers return to action Thursday with a 7 p.m. dual meet at Campbell’s Gore Arena. App State, Chattanooga (4-0) and Campbell (1-0) still have unblemished SoCon records.
App State 30, SIU-Edwardsville 9
149: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. Tyshawn Williams (SIUE), 6-4 dec. (SV) (3-0)
157: Angel Najar (APP) def. Karsten Van Velsor (SIUE), 13-6 dec. (6-0)
165: Nate Higgins (SIUE) def. Thomas Flitz (APP), 7-5 dec. (6-3)
174: Forrest Przybysz (APP) won by forfeit, (12-3)
184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Bryce Shewan (SIUE), 6-5 dec. (15-3)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Christian Dulaney (SIUE), fall, 7:44 (21-3)
HWT: Cary Miller (APP) def. Tommy Helton (SIUE), fall, 2:01 (27-3)
125: Zac Gentzler (SIUE) def. De’Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 3-1 dec. (27-6)
133: John Muldoon (SIUE) def. Codi Russell (APP), 6-5 dec. (27-9)
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Dakota Leach (SIUE), 8-4 dec. (30-9)