Apland's Pin Seals Michigan Victory Over CMU


Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #10 Michigan 23, #19 Central Michigan 14
Records: U-M (5-2), Central Michigan (12-3)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Jan. 27 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 7:30 p.m. CST

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With the dual still in the balance in the final match, senior/junior heavyweight Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) earned a second-period fall to seal the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team's 23-12 win over No. 19 Central Michigan on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 22) in front of 756 fans at Cliff Keen Arena.

The Chippewas twice knotted the score in the dual's second half, but U-M captured the last two matches to pull away. With Michigan carrying a narrow three-point lead in the final bout, Apland, ranked 14th in the latest InterMat poll, built an early advantage against CMU's 13th-ranked Peter Sturgeon, countering a single shot to score and subsequently ride out the opening frame. He took Sturgeon down again with a late second-period single leg and caught him in a shallow overhook, running it over to end the bout at the buzzer (5:00).

Sophomore/freshman Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy) helped Michigan retake the lead in the preceding match, where he cruised to a 10-6 decision over Chad Friend at 197 pounds. Huntley, ranked 15th, scored four takedowns -- two apiece in the first and second periods -- and accumulated 2:37 in riding-time advantage.

The Wolverines had held an early and sizable advantage after claiming three of the opening five bouts, rebounding from a major decision defeat at the starting weight to reel off three consecutive wins from its ranked lowerweights. Senior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS), ranked 18th, put U-M on the board with a 4-2 decision over Zach Horan at 133 pounds, scoring the bout's only offensive points on a second-period front headlock and accumulating 1:17 in riding-time advantage.

Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) survived a first-period scare to claim a 12-9 decision against Scott Mattingly at 141 pounds. Russell, ranked second, converted on a pair of early takedowns and rode for most of the frame before getting caught in a cradle out of a late scramble. Mattingly, who earned five points for the reversal and near fall, ran out of time at the buzzer and held a two-point advantage early in the third. Russell finished on three takedowns in the frame, sealing the win with a high crotch in the final 20 seconds. He improved to 20-2 on the season.

Junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) neutralized the Chippewas' early bonus point with one of his own, earning a 12-4 major decision against Joey Kielbasa at 149 pounds. Grajales, ranked 10th, scored four takedowns in the match, including three off of Kielbasa's leg attacks, and added a two-point tilt early in the second frame. Grajales' win pulled the Wolverines ahead, 10-4.

The Chippewas evened the score with decision victories in swing matches at 157 and 165 pounds. Junior/sophomore Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) put Donnie Corby on his back for five points in the first period of the former bout, but the CMU wrestler reversed the position, added a second-period double leg and earned the riding point to seal a 10-8 win.

Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) rallied from an early deficit to halt the Chippewas' momentum with a 13-5 major decision over Craig Kelliher at 174 pounds. After giving up an early single leg and fighting off another, fifth-ranked Zeerip converted on five unanswered takedowns, including two in the third to seal the bonus point. Zeerip improved to 17-1 on the season.

The Wolverines (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) will return to Big Ten Conference competition next weekend with dual slates against Minnesota and Michigan State. U-M will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday (Jan. 27) for a 7:30 p.m. CST match against the Golden Gophers at the Sports Pavilion before returning home to face intrastate rival Michigan State on Sunday (Jan. 29) in a 2 p.m. contest at Cliff Keen Arena.

#10 Michigan 23, #19 Central Michigan 14
125 -- #16 Joe Roth (CMU) major dec. Grant Pizzo, 17-6 CMU, 4-0
133 -- #18 Zac Stevens (U-M) dec. Zach Horan, 4-2            CMU, 4-3
141 -- #2 Kellen Russell (U-M) dec. Scott Mattingly, 12-9                U-M, 6-4
149 -- #10 Eric Grajales (U-M) major dec. Joey Kielbasa, 12-4       U-M, 10-4
157 -- Donnie Corby (CMU) dec. Brandon Zeerip, 10-8    U-M, 10-7
165 -- Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. #16 Dan Yates, 5-3         Tie, 10-10
174 -- #5 Justin Zeerip (U-M) major dec. Craig Kelliher, 13-5         U-M, 13-10
184 -- #5 Ben Bennett (CMU) major dec. Hunter Collins, 10-0      Tie, 14-14
197 -- #15 Max Huntley (U-M dec. Chad Friend, 10-6       U-M, 17-14
Hwt -- #14 Ben Apland (U-M) pinned #13 Peter Sturgeon, 5:00   U-M, 23-14

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