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Batavia kisses possible state ranking goodbye with tough loss

By Brian Hillabush

There is no easy way to put this. The Batavia wrestling team had a 34-23 lead with two matches to go, meaning they could lose the final two by anything less than a pin they win the match.

The Blue Devils received an honorable mention and a victory over Letchworth would have given the team a state ranking.

But the Indians won the final two matches with pins and came away with a 35-34 win, crushing a Batavia team that had came back from a large deficit early on to take the big lead.

Batavia's Garrett Egglebrecht matched up with Letchworth's Anthony Harding at 119 pounds and Egglebrecht fell behind 2-0 early. He trailed 5-0 after two periods, but had not been pinned, even though he was saved by the bell in the second period. But Harding got him on his back in the third period and made the score 34-29.

The Blue Devils had a solid grappler in Will Ely going at 125 pounds, and Letchworth put Austin Hedges out there with him in the final match.

Hedges led 5-0 at one point before Ely battled back to make it 5-4, but was avoiding the pin. Ely was just trying to hang on and take the decision loss, giving his team a victory.

Then, Hedges flipped him and put him on his back, scoring the pin with just 30 seconds left in the match.

Letchworth's big lead had a lot to do with the victory as it was 23-3 before you even knew it.

Batavia started well at 130 pounds with Trey Henderson winning a 10-8 decision over Anthony Harding. But Letchworth's Bucky Hendrickson captured an easy 16-0 win over Joe Muoio.

Mike Nevinger pinned Matt Leaton in 1:08, Frank Day downed Scot Shea in 1:12 and Chris Nevinger dispostd of John Pestillo in 1:33 to give the Indians the huge early lead.

But one of the best wrestling teams in the history of Batavia wasn't going to get crushed. They battled back.

Ryan Darch kicked things off with a 12-3 win over Dave Woolley to start the comeback.

Anthony D'Aurizio followed with an epic battle against a strong Evan Sylor. D'Aurizio nearly had a pin in the second period, but didn't get it and had a 7-2 advantage after two frames. Sylor scored some late points, but D'Aurizio walked away with a 9-6 victory.

Darch and D'Aurizio are two of Batavia's top grapplers and if either would have had a pin, the dramatics at the end would not have been an issue. So while both picked up victories, a few more points from either one of those two could have been huge, something coach Rick Stewart hopes his team learns come sectional time - every point matters.

Troy Ireland scored a pin and then Dylan Goodsell pinned Cody Waite with just 14 seconds left in the match. After Josh Mase took care of his opponent in 32 seconds and Nick Lazaroni had a pin in 54 seconds, Batavia was up 34-23.

That was before the Indians had the final two pins for the shocking victory.


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