August 14, 2018 | ° F

RU picks up win thanks to bonus points

Photo by Enrico Cabredo |

Redshirt fresman 174-pounder Phillip Bakuckus, right, collected a 3-0 decision for the Knights Sunday against Hofstra. The win was one of four straight for the Knights against the Pride.

Heavyweight Billy Smith did not realize the significance when he pinned Hofstra’s Michael Hughes.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that,” Smith said. “All week long I knew we needed bonus points up top, we talked about it with the coaches and stuff. Once the match started going I didn’t really think about it.”

The pin in the 5:17 mark of the heavyweight bout gave the Rutgers wrestling team a 2-1 advantage in pins.

So when both 125-pound freshman Scott DelVecchio and 133-pound redshirt freshman Sean McCabe lost their bouts to tie the score at 21, the Scarlet Knights (1-0) still escaped with a 22-21 victory thanks to Criteria 3.

Photo: Enrico Cabredo

Junior 165-pounder Nick Visicaro, right, dropped his bout to Hofstra’s Joe Booth, 11-7, which was one of five individual Rutgers losses.

The rule states that the team with the most pins at the end of a dual meet receives the tie-breaking point.

Those two pins came courtesy of Smith and redshirt sophomore Hayden Hrymack, who made his collegiate dual debut.

Hrymack’s tech fall at 197-pounds proceeded Smith’s. The Lincroft, N.J., native pinned Hofstra’s (0-1) David Heitman in the 43rd second of the first period.

Head coach Scott Goodale was confident those two would deliver victories.

What he did not know is whether they would both secure bonus points.

“We knew we’d win at the last two weights, but it’s hard to pin at the Division-I level,” Goodale said. “To get two pins was huge.”

The victories were two of four in a row for Rutgers after the Knights lost three of their first four matches.

Losses by freshman 133-pounder Corey Stansenko, sophomore 149-pounder Ken Theobold and junior 165-pounder Nick Visicaro put Rutgers in a hole before redshirt freshman 174-pounder Phillip Bakuckus began the process of digging them out of it.

After Victor Pozsonyi head-butted Bakuckus in the first 30 seconds of the match, the 174-pounder responded with a 3-0 decision. He was quickly rushed into the training room, where he said he received five stitches.

“I went out there to try and do the best I could to get the win,” Bakuckus said. “I really didn’t see much because I was getting stitched up.”

He missed three more wins, including senior 184-pounder Dan Seidenberg’s 3-1 decision against Dwight Howes.

Goodale said after yesterday’s practice this was one of the more impressive team victories for the program.

But he also understands the Knights’ youth could lead to a different hero every match.

He can credit the Knights’ upper weights for this win.

“I think this is the type of team where every night it’s going to be someone different,” Goodale said. “We’re going to be the type of team where every dual that we’re in, it could be a 5-5 split.”

Knight Note: Senior 133-pounder Vincent Dellefave sat out the match with a wrist injury. Goodale said he will meet with doctors this week but expects the Toms River, N.J., native to miss Sunday’s Binghamton Open this weekend but return in time for Rutgers’ first home dual Nov. 17 against Boston University.

For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow Bradly Derechailo on Twitter @Bradly_D. For general Rutgers sports updates, follow @TargumSports.

By Bradly Derechailo

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