Purdue Wins Sixth Straight, Upsets No. 20 Indiana 18-14


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Purdue wrestling made it six straight over its in-state rival with an 18-14 upset of No. 20 Indiana on Sunday inside University Gymnasium. The Boilermakers took six weights, all by decision, to move their record to 8-5 and 3-4 with one week to go in the Big Ten Conference schedule. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Hoosiers, who slipped to 6-5, 3-5 Big Ten.

“It’s nice to get a win in their gym,” Purdue head wrestling coach Tony Ersland said. “We won some close matches and that’s a good thing to see as we come down the home stretch. The string of five wins in the heart of our lineup was big for us.

“Each week it’s about getting better, it’s about taking a step forward towards peaking,” Ersland said. “Bringing intensity is important as we close out the Big Ten season next week and move into March.”

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Purdue Athletics

Luke Welch was the first of five straight Boilermaker decisions with takedowns in the first and third periods en route to a 5-0 showing against Alonzo Shepherd. The 133-pounder moved to 13-10 with the shutout.

In the ensuing match at 141, Tommy Cash scored the first takedown of the bout, but a four-point third period by Danny Sabatello lifted him to an 8-7 victory. The two wrestlers were tied at 4-4 heading into the final two minutes. Sabatello recorded a pair of takedowns in the third the 13th win of his redshirt senior season.

“It was a good win for Danny, for him to come back after getting down early,” Ersland said. “It’s going to be a confidence booster for him moving forward.”

Purdue’s Alex Griffin, the nation’s 19th-ranked wrestler at 149, tilted for a four-point nearfall, scored a takedown, an escape and added 1:49 of riding time for an 8-4 win over Luke Blanton. The decision lifted Griffin’s record to 13-5 while giving the Boilermakers their first lead in the dual at 9-4.

That lead built to 15-4 with back-to-back decisions from Doug and Chad Welch at 157 and 165, respectively. Riding time was the difference for D. Welch in a 5-4 outing against Jake Danishek. A takedown 1:42 into the match and a second-period rideout earned seventh-ranked C. Welch a 3-0 shutout of Eric Roach. D. Welch’s record improved to 12-8, while C. Welch moved to 24-4.

Purdue’s sixth win came by way of Tanner Lynde at 184. Lynde was the aggressor throughout his bout with Matt Irick en route to a 5-3 decision. The ninth win of the redshirt junior’s campaign, as he improved to 5-2 in Big Ten duals, gave the Boilermakers an 18-11 advantage with two weights remaining.

Indiana’s Jake Masengale stole a 6-4 sudden victory decision at 197 and closed out the dual with a 3-2 decision by Garret Goldman at 285. The Hoosiers received major decisions at 125 and 174 from their two ranked grapplers.

The Boilermakers will have a short week as they will be back in action Friday at No. 8 Michigan. Competition from Cliff Keen Arena is set to get underway at 7 p.m. ET.

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