SJU Upsets No. 2 La Crosse, Defeats Whitewater for Sweep at the Dells
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – No. 5 Saint John’s upset No. 2 Wisconsin-La Crosse 21-17 and swept the Duals at the Dells with a 30-9 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater in the nightcap on Friday, Dec. 10, in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
The SJU-Whitewater results will be posted once they become available.
La Crosse (5-2 record) jumped out to 14-0 lead through the first three matches, but SJU (5-0 record) claimed wins in six of the next seven weights to earn the dual victory. Senior Minga Batsukh (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict’s Prep, N.J.), the two-time defending national champion at 141 and the No. 3-ranked wrestler at 149, put the Johnnies on the scoreboard with a 10-5 win over No. 4 Matt Mauseth, the 2009 national champion. Senior Drew Larson (Willmar, Minn.) kept the tide rolling with a 6-0 win at 157 before senior Matt Baarson (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park) posted the Johnnies’ lone upset of the night. Baarson, ranked fifth nationally, posted an escape and takedown in the second period en route to a 4-0 win over No. 4 Cory Ferguson.
Junior Matt Pfarr (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) wrestled his first match after cutting down to 174 pounds and nearly upset the top-ranked wrestler in the nation, falling 3-2 to No. 1 Mike Schmitz via a third-period escape. Pfarr entered the match ranked ninth at 184 pounds.
A pin by junior Dustin Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley) at 184 pounds cut SJU’s deficit to 17-15 before sophomore Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) gave the Johnnies their first lead of the match. Hagen bumped up to 197 pounds and earned a 14-10 decision over the Eagles’ John Poppie.
The dual’s decision came down to the final match between senior Tony Willaert (North Mankato, Minn./Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial) and UWL’s Billy Mayer. Last season, Willaert bumped up to heavyweight and upset La Crosse’s Dan Laurent, a two-time national champion and the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight, by major decision, 15-4. Willaert’s showcase was much closer this year, as the senior posted a 6-5 decision to seal the win for SJU. Mayer was penalized for stalling twice and Willaert snatched a takedown late to clinch the victory.
SJU nearly defeated then-No. 1 La Crosse with a narrow 22-19 decision last year.
The Johnnies return to action at the Vegas Duals next Monday, Dec. 20. SJU is scheduled to face the University of Chicago, No. 1 Wartburg (Iowa), No. 27 Olivet (Mich.) and No. 3 Coe (Iowa).
No. 5 Saint John’s University (SJU) 21, No. 2 Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) 17
125 – Albie McKinney (No. 4, UWL) pinned freshman Donovan Sullivan (SJU), 0:56
133 – Adam Sheley (No. 7, UWL) major dec. junior Chad Henle (No. 6, SJU), 11-2
141 – Bebeto Yewah (No. 1, UWL) major dec. senior Chris Sandy (No. 8, SJU), 13-3
149 – Senior Minga Batsukh (No. 3, SJU) dec. Matt Mauseth (No. 4, UWL), 10-5
157 – Senior Drew Larson (SJU) dec. Ryan Farwell (UWL), 6-0
165 – Senior Matt Baarson (No. 5, SJU) dec. Cory Ferguson (No. 4, UWL), 4-0
174 – Mike Schmitz (No. 1, UWL) dec. junior Matt Pfarr (No. 9 at 184, SJU), 3-2
184 – Junior Dustin Baxter (SJU) pinned Mitch Artist (UWL), 4:18
197 – Sophomore Mitch Hagen (SJU) dec. John Poppie (UWL), 14-10
Hwt – Senior Tony Willaert (No. 10 at 197, SJU) dec. Billy Mayer (UWL), 6-5