With two dual meets against conference opponents in a span of less than 48 hours, the Ohio State wrestling team emerged from the state of Indiana with two more wins to its credit.
No. 9 OSU (9-2, 6-1) traveled west to square off against No. 22 Indiana (6-3, 3-3) and No. 24 Purdue (7-5, 2-4).
Both Indiana and Purdue were looking to improve upon their conference records while rising in the rankings nationally.
The Buckeyes had other things in mind.
The Buckeyes were looking to start off the trip to the Hoosier State by making a statement.
OSU did just that, earning its first win of the weekend by dominating Indiana 27-9.
Nathan Tomasello earned a major decision victory against freshman Elijah Oliver, starting the team’s weekend off with a burst of momentum.
While retaining his No. 1 national ranking at 125 pounds, the redshirt sophomore also kept a perfect record on the year after picking up a team-leading seventh major decision.
Redshirt senior Johnni DiJulius won by decision in his match against senior Alonzo Shepherd, keeping control throughout the bout.
DiJulius scored a quick near fall, giving him four points to take the lead, before taking home a 7-0 victory.
The win against Shepherd gave DiJulius a career win count of 110, a team-high.
In the week prior, DiJulius passed a two-time NCAA champion in Kevin Randleman in terms of all-time wins.
The Buckeyes saw the return of redshirt freshman Micah Jordan into the starting lineup against the Hoosiers. He picked up a win by injury default over redshirt freshman Cole Weaver.
The six points from the win gave the team a 13-0 lead, and put the Buckeyes firmly in control of the dual meet.
Despite the red-hot start, redshirt senior Hunter Stieber had a tough go against Indiana, as redshirt sophomore Luke Blanton was too much for the nation’s 11th-ranked wrestler at the 149-pound class.
Stieber could not muster any offense, and only secured his two points of the match by a pair of escapes.
The win by Blanton caused an uproar in the stands at University Gymnasium, and the former walk-on received praise from his coach.
Redshirt junior Justin Kresevic came up short against at 157 pounds against Indiana.
The heartbreaking loss for Kresevic came against redshirt freshman Jake Danishek, who picked up his third conference win of the year.
Although he was leading lead 7-4 at the end of the second period, OSU redshirt junior Justin Kresevic, wrestling at 157 pounds, fell short against Indiana redshirt freshman Jake Danishek, who fought his way back and secured an 8-7 win after a takedown in the last 30 seconds.
The Buckeyes got a major decision from redshirt sophomore Bo Jordan, who beat redshirt freshman Bryce Martin. Martin could not find any way to escape Jordan’s quick shots. Jordan finished the match with five takedowns.
Jordan, whose win gave the Buckeyes a 17-6 lead, retained a perfect record on the year, while also earning his first major decision of the season. The victory gave him 22 wins on the season.
A close battle between OSU freshman Myles Martin and redshirt junior Nate Jackson ended with the Buckeye picking up a close-decision win. The victory gave him 22 wins on the season.
A takedown gave Martin broke a 4-4 tie in the third period, giving him the lead. Stout defense in the closing frame helped the freshman secure the win.
Jackson had been ranked eighth in the nation before the match, and Martin, who is the only true freshman currently in the Buckeyes’ starting lineup, came in ranked at No. 15.
Redshirt senior Kenny Courts continued the Buckeyes dominance against Indiana, cruising to a 19-6 major decision.
The No. 13-ranked Courts got to work quickly, scoring a four-point near fall in the first period against redshirt sophomore Wyatt Wilson.
Wilson was never able to gain a lead against Courts, and struggled to create scoring opportunities.
With redshirt junior Josh Fox appearing to be the new wrestler at 197 pounds for OSU, the Buckeyes were pulling for him to turn around his season, after losing his last two matchups.
Fox competed hard against redshirt sophomore Jake Masengale but was unable to find the edge, even after Fox received two points from a stalling call against the Hoosiers.
Redshirt senior Nick Tavanello finished off the resounding victory for the Scarlet and Gray by defeating redshirt senior Garret Goldman 8-2.
Tavanello was quick to turn to the offensive and earned a major decision due to this strategy.
OSU has now been victorious in its last eight meetings with Indiana.
The Hoosiers have now lost their last two dual meets, and will have nearly a week to rest before resuming Big Ten meets.
On to the Boilermakers
Two days later in West Lafayette, the tone was once again set for the Buckeyes at 125 pounds by Tomasello.
Against redshirt senior Luke Schroeder, Tomasello attacked early, shooting at the legs of the Purdue wrestler over and over, and not allowing for any offense against himself.
Eventually, Tomasello pinned Schroeder in the beginning stages of the third period for win No. 15 of the year.
Tomasello has now extended his win streak to 32 matches, which dates back to last season.
The story was very different for DiJulius against redshirt sophomore Luke Welch, as the match saw a defensive stalemate go in favor of the Boilermakers at the 133-pound class.
The redshirt senior appeared to be up 3-2 after what seemed to be a takedown by Welsh turned into a reversal by DiJulius.
After a long video review, the reversal was removed, and the takedown remained, putting Welch up by 2-1.
DiJulius wasn’t able to capitalize with a takedown when he needed it at the end, dropping the match 3-1.
In the next bout, Micah Jordan shot out to an early lead at 141 pounds with three sharp takedowns and a near fall — all within the first period.
Micah Jordan would go on to win 14-3 with a major decision.
After an unusually slow outing for Stieber, redshirt sophomore Mike Hozan competed at 149 pounds for the Scarlet and Gray against Purdue.
OSU did not have any better luck though, as redshirt junior Alex Griffin dominated Hozan, picking up an 18-2 win with a technical fall.
Stieber is now 1-2 on the year as he tries to return to his old form after sustaining two elbow injuries last year, as well as offseason knee surgery. Hozan is now 4-7 on the year.
Kresevic could not hang on against redshirt senior Doug Welch, as the Purdue wrestler scored a takedown and near fall worth four points in the closing minute of the third.
Bo Jordan gave a huge boost to the Scarlet and Gray with a dominating performance against No. 7 Chad Welch in the sole match of the day featuring ranked opponents.
The All-American at 165 pounds last year gained an early takedown, and kept up the pace, putting constant pressure on Welch.
His 13-0 major decision against Welch put his team back out in front, giving OSU a 14-11 team lead.
More dramatics were in store for OSU at 174 pounds against Purdue, as Martin found himself deadlocked in another close bout with time winding down.
Redshirt sophomore Jacob Morrissey of the Boilermakers was aggressive throughout, scoring a huge reversal and a near fall right before the end of the second period, which gave Morrissey an 8-4 lead.
After an exhausting and physical struggle, Morrissey topped Martin by decision, 11-8, knotting the score at 14-14.
Much unlike the previous match at 184 pounds, Courts had to battle back for the win against redshirt junior Tanner Lynde.
While the clock winded down in the third period, the redshirt senior for the Buckeyes found himself down 8-7, looking for a chance to capitalize.
Courts scored a takedown to put himself on top, while also negating the riding time advantage Lynde had earned.
Lynde failed to score from that point forward, and Courts picked up a 9-8 decision win for the Scarlet and Gray.
The Buckeyes went to a different athlete against Purdue in redshirt sophomore Jack Rozema, hoping to find success at 197 pounds.
Rozema, too, could not capitalize after a slow first period by both competitors, dropping the match 8-4.
The loss at 197 pounds gives the Buckeyes four straight losses at that weight class.
Entering the final bout of the day, set to take place at heavyweight, the team scores were deadlocked at 17-17.
Tavanello needed to remain cautious against redshirt senior Tyler Kral, and control the match to give OSU the edge.
After an escape to start the second period put Kral in front, Tavanello gained the lead with a takedown.
Holding true to the OSU motto of “Win the Third,” Tavanello earned an escape for another point in the third period to give the Buckeyes a 20-17 win.
Much like its success against Indiana, OSU has won the last eight dual meets against Purdue.
Purdue will likely fall from the national rankings, accompanied by a fall in the Big Ten rankings after dropping its fifth conference matchup.