Diplomats Dominate VMI

Diplomats Dominate VMI

LEXINGTON, Va. – Franklin & Marshall's youth movement was on full display Saturday afternoon in a dominant 25-12 victory over VMI. The Diplomats, who evened their season dual meet record to 1-1, won seven of 10 matchups and saw their freshmen go 3-0 on the day.

The win marked the first time since 1948 that F&M was victorious on the road against VMI, who dropped to 0-2 on the year.

Action opened at 125 with Edgar Garcia getting F&M off to a strong start courtesy of a 10-3 decision win. The senior notched four takedowns in the bout, including two in the third period, en route to the win. VMI quickly took a 6-3 lead with a third-period at 133, before Brett Kulp provided another strong performance at 141 pounds with a 20-4 tech. fall bashing. 

Kulp outscored his opponent by a 9-2 margin after the first period, before piling on the points in the third, as the match was called at 6:02. Kulp is now 2-0 in duals this season after also earning a 4-2 sudden victory against Hofstra on Nov. 5. 

Sam Butler padded the Diplomat advantage at 11-6 with a 3-1 decision win at 149. He picked up a first period takedown and added a riding time point.

The Keydets stayed in the match with a 3-2 decision at 157, but F&M rattled off three consecutive wins to seal the contest. Freshman Dylan Gumaer started the run at 165 with a 2-1 thriller in the first overtime period, sealing his victory with an escape.

Josh Young added four bonus points at 174 with a 12-3 major that saw the senior secure three takedowns in the third period to extend F&M's advantage to nine at 18-9. Steven Mercadante also rolled past his opponent at 184 with a 17-7 major decision of his own to put the match out of reach for good. The redshirt freshman recorded three takedowns and four near fall points in his match.

VMI slowed down the Diplomat scoring onslaught with a 7-4 decision at 197, before 285-pounder Antonio Pelusi put the bow on an impressive F&M win with a 7-3 decision over the Keydets' Jake Tomlinson. Pelusi stormed out of the gates with three takedowns in the opening period and cruised to the win.

The Diplomats are set to return to action following the winter break when F&M travels down to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. for the South Beach Duals. Competition begins on Friday, Dec. 29 with bouts against Binghamton (11:00 a.m.) and Michigan State (1:00 p.m.).

Franklin & Marshall 25, VMI 12
125: Edgar Garcia (F&M) over Clifton Conway (VMI) (Dec 10-3)
133: Hunter Starner (VMI) over Dan Martoccio (F&M) (Fall 6:59)
141: Brett Kulp (F&M) over John Reed (VMI) (TF 20-4 6:02)
149: Sam Butler (F&M) over Dolan Walsh (VMI) (Dec 3-1)
157: Robert DuPont (VMI) over Emmett LiCastri (F&M) (Dec 3-2)
165: Dylan Gumaer (F&M) over Blake Hohman (VMI) (TB-1 2-1)
174: Josh Young (F&M) over Gage Levine (VMI) (MD 12-3)
184: Steven Mercadante (F&M) over Ben Wagner (VMI) (MD 17-7)
197: Taylor Thomas (VMI) over Philip Robilotto (F&M) (Dec 7-4)
285: Antonio Pelusi (F&M) over Jake Tomlinson (VMI) (Dec 7-3)