By GERRY STEELE
Of the Baker City Herald
Baker wrestled strong matches Thursday at the Bulldogs' final home performances of the season. However, the Bulldogs didn't wrestle well enough to win either of their Greater Oregon League duals with Riverside and Ontario.
Riverside used three Baker forfeits for the deciding margin in a 42-33 victory over the Bulldogs on the Baker mats. Baker wrestlers actually outscored the Pirates 33-24 in matches wrestled.
Baker and Ontario were knotted at 21-21 midway through their dual. Then, Ontario won five of the final six matches to take a 42-27 decision.
Ontario defeated Riverside 47-30 in the third dual.
andquot;We lost tonight, but they were respectible losses,andquot; said Baker coach Dee Gorrell.
andquot;As a team we wrestled really well,andquot; he said. andquot;It comes down to what we said before; we still have some kids who don't have the maturity to wrestle at the varsity level. And, those forfeits. When you're down 18-0 before you wrestle it's hard to overcome.andquot;
Seven Bulldogs win against Pirates
Baker wrestlers won half of the 14 varsity matches against Riverside.
Levi Bunch (135 pounds), Steve Cooke (160), Eugene Markgraf (189) and Heath Paxton (275) all won by pin.
Jesse Christensen (119) earned a 5-0 decision. Christensen led just 2-0 after two rounds, then scored three points in the final two minutes.
Ross Weatherspoon (140) posted an 8-7 decision. The match was tied at 5-5 after one round, and Weatherspoon went up 8-7 after two rounds. Neither wrestler scored in the final round which saw Weatherspoon on the mat under his Riverside opponent for all but a few seconds.
He managed to avoid getting caught for a near-fall and gained the win.
Seth Klassen (152) earned Baker's final win, 11-7. Klassen led 9-3 after two rounds, then held on for the win.
Baker runs cold
Baker and Ontario were tied at 21-21 with six matches to wrestle. Baker's only win during that final stretch was Paxton's win by injury default at 275.
A 6-4 decision by Christensen, forfeit wins by Bunch and Micah Johnson (130), and a first-round pin by Weatherspoon pulled the Bulldogs even after eight matches.
Bulldogs receive grant
The Baker wrestling program received a $4,000 grant check from Julie Paxton of Amerititle between matches.
The Jeld-Wen Foundation grant is to be used to refurbish or replace a wrestling mat at the high school.
Gorrell said the funds will most likely be used to help purchase a new mat.
Bulldogs hit the road
Baker will travel to the Parma Invitational today and Saturday at Parma, Idaho.
Riverside 42, Baker 33
103 Trinklein (R) by forfeit. 112 Eppins (R) by forfeit. 119 Christensen (B) dec. Rangel, 5-0. 125 Torres (R) pinned Warner, third. 130 Rienult (R) pinned Johnson, third. 135 Bunch (B) pinned Tovey, third. 140 Weatherspoon (B) dec. Jon Parrish, 8-7. 145 Martinez (R) pinned Voss, third. 152 Klassen (B) dec. Hancock, 11-7. 160 Cooke (B) pinned Joey Parrish, second. 171 G. Hansen (R) by forfeit. 189 Markgraf (B) pinned Calvillo, second. 215 D. Hansen (R) pinned Hicks, first. 275 Paxton (B) pinned Mendoza, second.
Ontario 42, Baker 27
103 Martinez (O) by forfeit. 112 Gonzalez (O) by forfeit. 119 Christensen (B) dec. Honesto, 6-4. 125 Nakamura (O) dec. Warner, 19-17. 130 Johnson (B) by forfeit. 135 Bunch (B) by forfeit. 140 Weatherspoon (B) pinned Erlebach, first. 145 Rivera (O) pinned Voss, first. 152 Toby Smith (O) dec. Klassen, 10-7. 160 Rangel (O) dec. Cooke, 6-3. 171 McGraw (O) by forfeit. 189 Todd Smith (O) dec. Markgraf, 18-12. 215 Nunez (O) pinned Hicks, third. 275 Paxton (B) by injury default over Gundle, first.