COLUMBUS, Ohio - A trio of youngsters - true freshman Luke Pletcher and redshirt freshmen Jose Rodriguez and Ke-Shawn Hayes - had impressive wins to highlight Ohio State's annual wrestle-offs, which took place on Thursday evening in front of a standing-room only crowd at French Fieldhouse.
Rodriguez started off the night at 125 pounds needed just 1:59 to pin true freshman Clay Ragon. Rodriguez was 13-4 last year while wrestling unattached in open tournaments. He won two state championships for Massillon Perry High School.
Pletcher, making his debut for the Scarlet and Gray, jumped out to an 8-1 lead over Brendan Fitzgerald in the first period on the strength of two takedowns and a four-point near fall. He ended the match near the end of the second period after getting three more takedowns and another four-point near fall for an 18-3 tech fall victory. Pletcher comes in highly decorated, having won three Pennsylvania state titles and was the nation's No. 2 ranked recruit nationally at 132 lbs. for Greater Latrobe High School.
Hayes, who was 29-1 last year while wrestling unattached at open tournaments, rolled to a 19-3 win over Mike Hozan thanks to five takedowns, a four-point near fall and two-point near fall. He enters his redshirt freshman season ranked No. 14 by FloWrestling and No. 13 by InterMat.
Micah Jordan, 26-4 in his first year in the lineup last season, scored early and often to defeat Blake Riley-Hawkins, 21-6. The redshirt sophomore who is No. 6 by FloWrestling and No. 8 by InterMat, scored five first-period takedowns to go along with a four-point near fall.
The closest match of the night came at 165 lbs. where Cody Burcher edged true freshman Elijah Cleary, 4-2. After a scoreless first period, Cleary escaped to start the second, Burcher tied it at the beginning of the third and then scored the decisive takedown with under a minute remaining in regulation.
Reigning national champion Myles Martin looked in midseason form at 184 lbs., racking up 20 points in a 20-6 major decision over Jack Rozema. Martin tallied seven takedowns and a four-point near fall. Kollin Moore, another highly-touted redshirt freshman, had two first-period takedowns against Josh Fox and won a 5-2 decision at 197 lbs. Moore in ranked No. 16 by both FloWrestling and InterMat. In the final match of the night, true freshman Gary Traub edged Troy Caldwell, 7-4, with two takedown in the third period.
The 2016-17 season officially gets underway two weeks from Saturday with the NWCA All-Star Classic in Cleveland and Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsilanti, Mich.
OHIO STATE WRESTLING
2016 Wrestle Offs | French Fieldhouse | Columbus, Ohio
October 20, 2016
125: Jose Rodriguez fall over Clay Ragon, 1:59
133: Luke Pletcher technical fall over Branden Fitzgerald, 18-3
141: Ke-Shawn Hayes technical fall over Mike Hozan, 19-3
149: Micah Jordan technical fall over Blake Riley Hawkins, 21-5
157: Jake Ryan major decision over Anthony DeCarlo, 16-4
165: Cody Burcher decision over Elijah Cleary, 4-2
184: Myles Martin major decision over Jack Rozema, 20-6
197: Kollin Moore decision over Josh Fox, 5-2
285: Gary Traub decision over Troy Caldwell, 7-4