Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan wrestling team recorded one pin and one technical fall on Friday in topping Eastern Michigan, 29-7, in a Mid-American Conference dual on the Chippewas' Senior Night at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas, who have won three consecutive duals and seven of their last eight, improved to 8-4, 5-1 MAC. Eastern Michigan is 7-7, 3-4.
Redshirt freshman Matt Stencel capped the evening with a first-period pin in the 285-pound match. His win came over senior Gage Hutchison, who is ranked second in the weight class in the MAC. Stencel is ranked fourth.
CMU's technical fall came at 174, where senior CJ Brucki posted a 17-2 win.
"It adds to the excitement, it adds to the moment for us going out like that," Brucki said of winning in dominant fashion on Senior Night.
The start of the meet was delayed by two hours because the Eagles encountered travel difficulties because of a snowstorm.
CMU redshirt freshman 125-pounder Drew Hildebrandt scored a takedown with 17 seconds remaining to win the night's first bout, 5-4.
That set the tone as the Chippewas went on to win eight of the 10 matches.
"Starting at 125 Hildebrandt comes back and wins that match in the third period it looked like he was dead in the water," CMU coach Tom Borrelli said. "He got taken down with 45 seconds left and he got out and got a takedown and finished the match on top."
CMU's junior 149-pounder Justin Oliver came back from an early 6-0 deficit to win, 12-10, on a takedown with under 25 seconds remaining.
It was Oliver's first match in three weeks after he was injured in a dual with Missouri. His win came over senior Kyle Springer, who is the reigning MAC Wrestler of the Week, is ranked third in the MAC, and has scored bonus points in 13 of his 18 matches this season.
"He hasn't been able to train real hard," Borrelli said of Oliver, who is ranked second in the MAC and fourth nationally. "That's just unbelievable guts. It was amazing. To fight off his back to start with. ... To keep your wits and keep pecking away and get the final takedown. That (Eastern) kid's a really good wrestler. He's a senior, he's been around the block and he's having a really good year. (Oliver's) got to be in pretty good shape or he's got unbelievable guts to do that."
The Chippewas recorded 20 takedowns on the night. Colin Heffernan (157) had six in his 14-9 victory, and Brucki had five in his. The pair combined for seven takedowns in the third period of their respective matches.
"Last dual-meet match in front of the home fans," Heffernan said. "Kind of want to make it fun - last time they see you compete in the maroon and gold and you want to go out with the best show you can put on. I just wanted to make it as much fun as I could out there. I wanted have a good lasting memory."
Said Brucki: "Our team philosophy is put 10 points on the board and the winning will take care of itself. I just knew I was going to out there and wrestle as hard as I could and be consistent with the third-period mentality, adding on and push the pace in the third period."
Chippewa sophomore Mason Smith also came back late to post a 7-5 victory in his 141-pound match. Smith, who is ranked ninth, overcame illness in winning his team-high 28th match of the season (against four losses).
"Mason was really sick today," Borrelli said. "He was three pounds under at weigh in. He might have the flu. He gutted out a win."
Borrelli: "All up and down our lineup, we wrestled very hard, we were pretty aggressive. That's a pretty big meet for Eastern and we matched them pretty hard, which is important."
CMU goes to Kent State for a MAC dual on Sunday (2 p.m.). The Golden Flashes are 11-9, 1-4 after a 19-14 loss to Old Dominion on Friday.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 29, EASTERN MICHIGAN 7
125: Drew Hildebrandt (CMU) dec. Thomas Gutierrez, 5-4
133: Noah Gonser (EMU) dec. Dresden Simon, 3-1
141: Mason Smith (CMU) dec. Sa'Derian Perry, 7-5
149: Justin Oliver (CMU) dec. Kyle Springer, 12-10
157: Colin Heffernan (CMU) dec. J.J. Wolfe, 14-9
165: Zac Carson (EMU) major dec. Logan Parks, 14-5
174: CJ Brucki (CMU) tech fall Andrew McNally, 17-2
184: Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) dec. Kayne MacCallum, 4-0
197: Jordan Atienza (CMU) dec. Derek Hillman, 10-5
285: Matt Stencel (CMU) pinned Gage Hutchison, 1:36