LEXINGTON, Va. - Despite grabbing an early lead following senior Hunter Starner's pin at 133 pounds, the VMI wrestling team fell by a 25-12 score to the visiting Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall Saturday evening at Cormack Hall.
Diplomat Edgar Garcia gave Franklin & Marshall the first advantage following a 3-0 decision over 125-pounder Clifton Conway, but Starner turned the momentum to VMI after a thrilling pin over F&M's Dan Martoccio with just one second left in the final period. Starner had led 4-1 after the first period but Martoccio stayed in it the remainder looking the extend the Diplomat lead. Starner earned a late takedown in the final moments and put Martoccio on his back, pinning his shoulders just before time expired to put VMI up, 6-3.
The VMI lead was short-lived, however, as the Diplomats would go on to earn the next two bouts at 141 and 149 to move ahead by an 11-6 score, logging a tech fall over VMI's John Reed at 141 and a Sam Butler 3-1 decision over VMI's Dolan Walsh at 149.
Keydet 157-pound sophomore Robert DuPont trimmed the F&M lead to 11-9 following a close 3-2 decision over Diplomat Emmett LiCastri, but the visitors again went on a run to take the next three bouts to extend the lead to 22-9 with only two weight classes left to grapple.
VMI 197-pounder Taylor Thomas registered a hard fought 7-4 decision over Diplomat Philip Robilotto for the Keydets' final team points before VMI heavyweight Jake Tomlinson fell by a 7-3 decision to Franklin & Marshall's Antonio Pelusi in the final match.
The Keydets return to Southern Conference action on Friday, Dec. 8 with a dual against visiting Gardner-Webb. The match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start at Cormack Hall.
Franklin & Marshall 25, VMI 12
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Cormack Hall – Lexington, Va.
125: Edgar Garcia (F&M) over Clifton Conway (VMI) (Dec 10-3) ... 0-3
133: Hunter Starner (VMI) over Dan Martoccio (F&M) (Fall 6:59) ... 6-3
141: Brett Kulp (F&M) over John Reed (VMI) (TF 20-4 6:02) ... 6-8
149: Sam Butler (F&M) over Dolan Walsh (VMI) (Dec 3-1) ... 6-11
157: Robert DuPont (VMI) over Emmett LiCastri (F&M) (Dec 3-2) ... 9-11
165: Dylan Gumaer (F&M) over Blake Hohman (VMI) (TB-1 2-1) ... 9-14
174: Joshua Young (F&M) over Gage Levine (VMI) (MD 12-3) ... 9-18
184: Steven Mercadante (F&M) over Ben Wagner (VMI) (MD 17-7) ... 9-22
197: Taylor Thomas (VMI) over Philip Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 7-4) ... 12-22
285: Antonio Pelusi (F&M) over Jake Tomlinson (VMI) (Dec 7-3) ... 12-25