No.1 Penn State hit the road this weekend defeating No. 5 Ohio State 29-9 before traveling to Bloomington to take on No. 18 Indiana wrestling. The top ranked Nittany Lions took eight of 10 matches against the Hoosiers on Sunday and came away with a 35-8 win.
The dual meet started by honoring the Hoosier’s lone senior Luke Baughman and student athletic trainers Madison Kump and David Seghal. Baughman came to Indiana from Wadsworth, Ohio in 2019 as one of head coach Angel Escobedo’s first recruits.
“What (Baughman) has brought to the program? Energy, effort, his attitude. He will wrestle any weight class you ask him,” Escobedo said “We are definitely gonna miss him, he pushes the guys really hard. It’s been an honor to have him in the program”
After celebrating Baughman, Indiana junior Jacob Moran immediately came out firing against the Nittany Lions at 125 lbs. Moran delivered a hail of attacks to capture an 18-2 technical fall over his Penn State opponent to give the Hoosiers a 5-0 lead.
Immediately following Moran, true freshman No. 29 Henry Porter clinched a 9-7 overtime victory over Penn State’s junior Baylor Shunk at 133 lbs. Porter’s victory extended the Hoosier’s lead to 8-0 after two matches.
Porter was dominating Shunk for most of the match until Shunk reversed Porter to his back to tie the match at 5. With the momentum in Shunk’s favor, Porter stayed composed, worked his way back into the match and sealed the win in overtime.
After the first two matches Penn State went on to dominate the Hoosiers in the upper weight classes, an area Indiana usually shines in. The Nittany Lions outscored the Hoosiers 91-49 plus two additional pinfalls by Penn State.
All eyes were on 174 lbs. as Hoosier redshirt junior, No. 15 DJ Washington, took on No. 1 junior Carter Starocci in a highly anticipated rematch. As per usual Washington got off to a quick start grabbing a quick takedown in the first period. After that it was all Starocci as the two-time national champion scored a barrage of points in the third period to defeat Washington via major decision.
“I think the more shots that (Washington) takes the more opportunities he’ll have to score,” Escobedo said.
Escobedo hopes he can propel his team toward success for the rest of the year despite this setback. The Hoosiers have three more dual meets on the road before the postseason arrives.
Escobedo remained optimistic about his team in regards of their point scoring ability. Indiana displayed that they had the offensive capabilities to go out and get takedowns, but the next step is to keep scoring instead of sitting back on their heels.
“I saw us going out there scoring some points with Major, with Porter, with Jacob. I think it’s showing that we are capable of scoring points on the best guys in the country.”
Follow reporter Aidan Pollitt (@pollitt_52) for updates throughout the match and the rest of the Indiana wrestling season.