Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

What a difference a couple of days make.

Last Thursday Baker didn't wrestle very well

in a one-sided Greater Oregon League loss to La Grande. But Tuesday,

the Bulldogs turned up the juice in gaining a split with Grant Union

and Ontario on the Baker mats.

Baker dominated the Class 3A Prospectors from John Day 66-33, winning

five matches by pin. The Bulldogs then forged a 27-6 lead in their GOL

matchup with Ontario. Then Ontario rallied by scoring the final 39

points, including a pair of Baker forfeits, to earn the

come-from-behind win.

"Now that was wrestling," said Baker coach Dee Gorrell.

"We hate to lose the close ones, but the kids wrestled a lot better than they did against La Grande. The kids wrestled well right to the wire.

"Against Grant Union the kids controlled the wrestling. They came out and did what they needed to do," Gorrell said.

"Against Ontario the kids also wrestled tough. A move here or there and it could have been different. We had three forfeits due to kids being out with issues, but the kids did a lot better."

Bulldogs rout Grant Union

Baker earned pins in its first two matches against Grant Union to start the rout.

Leading 8-4 at 189 pounds, Ted Shaw pinned his opponent with just 3.7 seconds left.

Paul Johnson (215) trailed 9-1 in the third period when he rolled his opponent for a reversal with 40 seconds remaining. Then, three seconds later, Johnson won by pin.

Parker Warner (125) earned Baker's quickest pin of the evening, topping his opponent 11 seconds into the match.

Andrew Porter (130) built a 9-3 lead in the second period before also winning by fall.

Brandon Zunino (140) battled back and forth in his match, taking a 12-8 edge before winning by pin with 14.5 seconds left.

Miguel Kitch (119), Andrew Gettle (145) and Lane Gray (160) all won by forfeit.

Matt Seal (135) didn't win, but he wrestled a tough match. Seal trailed 7-6 after two periods, then earned a reversal to take an 8-7 lead with one minute left in the match. But his opponent then earned an escape to knot the match at 8-8 and scored a takedown with one seconds left to take a 10-8 win.

Big start goes for naught

Baker used three pins, a decision, and a forfeit to build a 27-6 lead against Ontario.

Shaw (189) got the ball rolling with a second-round pin with 10.4 seconds left.

Johnson (215) earned a 3-2 decision by scoring a takedown with 2.2 seconds left in the match.

Johnson trailed 2-1 early in the third period, then scored a controversial takedown to gain the lead. Ontario coach Charlie Anthony questioned whether or not Johnson and his opponent were out of bounds and should not have been awarded the points. The official ruled the wrestlers were inbounds.

Jake Shukle (275) built Baker's lead to 15-0 with a pin with 55.8 seconds left in the opening period.

Zach Valentine (103) won by forfeit to boost the margin to 21-0.

Kitch (119) then earned a second-round pin to give Baker a 27-6 lead. Ontario had won the 112-pound match by forfeit.

Ontario then battled back, winning the remaining eight matches.

Baker travels to a tournament at Heppner Saturday.

Baker 66, Grant Union 33

103 - Gagnon (G) pinned Valentine, second. 112 - Double forfeit. 119 - Kitch (B) by forfeit. 125 - Warner (B) pinned Barrietua, first. 130 - Porter (B) pinned Kyger, second. 135 - Barry (G) dec. Seal, 10-8. 140 - Zunino (B) pinned Woodbury, third. 145 - Gettle (B) by forfeit. 152 - Double forfeit. 160 - Gray (B) by forfeit. 171 - Double forfeit. 189 - Shaw (B) pinned Wise, third. 215 - Johnson (B) pinned Stegman, third. 275 - Speakman (G) pinned Shukle, third.

Ontario 45, Baker 27

103 - Valentine (B) by forfeit. 112 - Oliva (O) by forfeit. 119 - Kitch (B) pinned Parsons, second. 125 - Morales (O) pinned Warner, second. 130 - Martinez (O) dec. Porter, 8-2. 135 - Gonzalez (O) pinned Seal, second. 140 - Fields (O) pinned Zunino, first. 145 - Lopez (O) dec. Gettle, 6-2. 152 - Nakamura (O) by forfeit. 160 - Gillette (O) dec. Gray, 8-6. 171 - Wharton (O) by forfeit. 189 - Shaw (B) pinned Estrada, second. 215 - Johnson (B) dec. Alvarado, 3-2. 275 - Shukle (B) pinned Villalobos, first.

JV and exhibition matches

112 - Oliva (O) pinned Valentine. 119 - Hopper (Imb) pinned Kitch; Hartley (O) pinned Grove. 130 - Gonzalez (O) pinned Mercado. 135 - Mercado (B) dec. Joslin (G), 12-0. 140 - Theje (O) pinned Zacharias. 160 - Mespelt (B) dec. Gill (G), 7-4; Mespelt (B) pinned Hernandez (O). 189 - Waldron (B) pinned Ernston (O); Waldron (B) pinned Ruth (Imb).