Arizona State Wrestling (5-10) beat conference foe CSU Bakersfield (6-9) on Saturday in Tempe 24-12, to get their first win in almost a month.
Brandon Courtney kickstarted things off at 125 lb. for the Sun Devils with a major decision victory over CSU Bakersfield’s Eddie Flores. The freshman had a 6-1 lead after the first, scoring two takedowns and a two point near fall. In the following match, #25 Josiah Kline fell to #17 Sean Nickell in the 133 lb. bout. Takedowns in both the first and third periods helped Nickell secure the win over the sophomore. After the first two bouts, ASU led 4-3.
Cory Crooks (141 lb.) picked up another major decision for Arizona State to extend the lead to 8-4. A two point takedown and a two point near fall helped give Crooks a 7-0 lead after the second period concluded. Crooks, who was chosen to wrestle over Navonte Demison (141 lb.) and Josh Kramer (133 lb.), kept Carlos Herrera in check during the final period. The Sophomore walked away with a 9-1 win giving the Devils their second major decision of the afternoon.
Junior, #25 Josh Maruca (149 lb.), tacked on three more team points after coming away with a hard-fought 5-2 decision against CSUB’s #20 Russell Rohlfing. #13 Christian Pagdilao followed that with a 5-3 decision victory of his own. The grad student’s win gave Arizona State a 14-3 lead heading into halftime at Wells Fargo.
After the break, #4 Josh Shields (165 lb.) got his thirteenth straight win. Two takedowns in the third period propelled Shields to an 11-3 major decision. The Junior’s last loss was all the way back in December at the Midlands Championships in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
“I just focus one day at a time, one practice at a time, and the rest [it will] take care of itself,” said Shields when asked about the streak.
The Roadrunners forfeited the 174 lb. bout giving the Sun Devils another six team points. With three rounds to go, ASU was in complete control 24-3.
The Devils were swept in the final three matches, but still finished with a 12 point victory over CSU Bakersfield.
The team is back at The Bank next Friday as they close out their regular season against Cal Poly who has yet to win a dual this season. The dual meet starts at 7 PM MT and will be live-streamed through ASU.