After being plagued by injuries and dropping seven consecutive dual meets, redshirt sophomore Lou DePrez and senior Anthony Sparacio returned to the lineup on Saturday for the Binghamton wrestling team. Despite losing to Brown 19-14 to start the day, the Bearcats (3-8) rebounded to defeat Harvard 20-18 in the nightcap and end the skid.
“I think in the first match we got beat on effort in a lot of positions,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “I think in the second match it was the opposite, even the matches that we lost, our guys put in more effort. They were working harder to score, working to get off the bottom and working harder to ride on top.”
Prior to the second matchup, Binghamton’s five seniors were honored by the team. Among them, Sparacio was the only one who wrestled on the day. In his return from injury, he won both of his matches.
In the first dual meet against Brown, the Bearcats lost four out of the first five bouts, with Sparacio being the sole winner. In the second half of the dual, a decision from freshman Jacob Nolan and a major decision by DePrez pulled BU within 16-10. However, a tough loss for freshman Sam DePrez secured the dual win for Brown, and redshirt sophomore Joe Doyle picked up a major decision in the heavyweight class to close out the day for BU.
The Bearcats also fell behind early against Harvard (1-6) prior to coming back and earning a team victory. Freshman Carson Sauriol and freshman Tomasso Frezza were both defeated in the 125- and 133-pound weight classes, respectively. Frezza has been wrestling up a weight and filling in for former NCAA qualifier redshirt sophomore Zack Trampe, who remains out with an injury.
“Frezza is weighing in at 125 pounds but has to bump up to 133,” Borshoff said. “He is sacrificing for this team due to injury.”
In the next two bouts, Sparacio again picked up a decision at 141 and redshirt sophomore Matt Swanson won at 149. In the 174-pound weight class, redshirt junior Alex Melikian earned a 25-9 technical fall to cut the Bearcats’ deficit to four. Harvard forfeited at 184 to put Binghamton up 17-15 and Sam DePrez earned his first-career dual win, extending the team’s lead to 20-15.
“They tried to get a little creative forfeiting to Lou and then wrestling against Sammy thinking that their guy could win at 197, and that backfired on them a little bit and helped us,” Borshoff said.
The match ended as a 20-18 victory for BU. Despite returning two key contributors, the team is still short two wrestlers.
“Trampe is out, he has been ranked as high as 10th in the country this season, [redshirt sophomore] Aidan Monteverdi is another guy who we need out there wrestling,” Borshoff said. “When you are talking about our lineup, that is 10 percent of our lineup. As people continue to come back and pieces fall into place, we are going to do a lot better. Right now it is like trying to win a football game with eight players on the field. When you are missing guys that have made a career of winning matches, it is very difficult.”
The Bearcats will next travel to Borshoff’s alma mater for a matchup against American on Saturday. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.