By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
Minnesota State junior Brendan Eichmann may have started the season kind of slow, but the 174-pound wrestler is starting to bring the heat.
Eichmann, ranked sixth in NCAA Division II, has now won three of his last four matches. His latest win came Friday night when he decisioned Riley Nagel 19-4 to help the Mavericks defeat the University of Mary 27-13 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual at Bresnan Arena.
“I would have liked to get the tech fall, but it was a win, and I won’t complain about it,” Eichmann said. “I’ve been wrestling better lately. At the start of the year I was knocking off a lot of rust from the offseason, but now I think I’m hitting my stride.”
MSU head coach Jim Makovsky agreed: “He’s been coming on for us lately. That’s good because we’re going to need him as we get into the meat of our conference schedule.”
The Mavericks trailed Mary 10-9 after four bouts before outscoring the visitors 18-3 the rest of the way. The closing run included a 6-5 double-overtime win by Sawyer Hoffman at 157 pounds, an 11-0 major decision by third-ranked Cody Quinn at 165 and a 14-6 major decision by Corby Running at heavyweight.
The Mavericks, who have been bolstered by a core group of five underclassmen this season, jumped to a 9-0 lead as junior David Demo delivered a 15-0 technical fall at 125 and freshman Alphonso Vruno added a 15-2 major at 133.
Mary came back to win the next two bouts and take the lead. Second-ranked Trevor Johnson pinned MSU freshman Nathan Hennes in 4:52 at 141 before Landon Della Silva downed Mavericks’ freshman Thomas Allen 13-5 at 149.
That set up MSU’s run to close out the dual. The victory improves MSU to 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in the NSIC.
The Mavericks are back in action again tonight with an NSIC dual against Minot State. Starting time is 7 p.m. at Bresnan Arena.