USA Wrestling No. 4 Ohio State tak...

No. 4 Ohio State takes final three bouts to beat No. 12 Illinois, 29-18

By Michael Basford, Ohio State | Jan. 15, 2017, 5:56 p.m. (ET)

Photo of Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State courtesy of @WrestlingBucks

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Five bonus-point victories, including momentum shifting pins by Kollin Moore and Kyle Snyder in the final two matches - lifted fourth-ranked Ohio State to a 29-18 victory over No. 12 Illinois on Sunday in front of 3,279 at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes remain perfect on the year at 7-0 (3-0 B1G) while Illinois is 2-2 (1-2 B1G).

Trailing in the team score 18-13 with just three bouts remaining, sophomore Myles Martin started the Buckeyes' rally with an 11-3 major decision at 184 lbs. Moore then followed with a dual-clinching pin at 197 lbs. and Snyder finished off the afternoon with a fall of his own. In the most anticipated bout of the dual, second-ranked Nathan Tomasello controlled fourth-ranked Zane Richards, registering a 12-4 major decision. In all, Ohio State won six of 10 matches and had three falls.

The dual started at 125 lbs. and Illinois' Travis Piotrowski scored seven second period points, added a riding time bonus point and picked up a major decision over Jose Rodriguez, 10-0.

Trailing 4-0 in the team score, the Buckeyes watched as Tomasello came out scoring early and often in the first period against Richards. The redshirt junior from Parma, Ohio took Richards down three time in the opening three minutes and built up a 7-2 lead heading into the second period following a stalling call on Richards. Smelling bonus points, Tomasello scored one more takedown in both the second and third period while adding his riding time bonus point for the 12-4 major decision. He remains perfect on the year at 9-0 while picking up first third win of the year over a ranked opponent (first vs. the top five).

True freshman Luke Pletcher improved to 19-2 on the year with his second victory over Mousa Jodeh in the past month (he also defeated Jodeh in the opening round of the Midlands Championships). Pletcher built a 6-2 second-period lead and eventually cruised to a 10-4 decision. In the next bout, Micah Jordan won his team-best 21st match of the year as he pinned Eric Barone is 6:19. Jordan led 6-0 after two periods, took Barone down after starting neutral to begin the third and then finished off the fall. It was also Jordan's team-leading 14th bonus point win and his fifth pin.

ILLINI WIN AT 157, 165, 174
Illinois strung together three straight wins - all by bonus points - to surge ahead 18-13 following the 174 bout. At 157, Kyle Langendefer turned up the heat on Anthony DeCarlo in the second and third periods, scoring 12 points to win by technical fall, 18-3. In the next match at 165, two-time NCAA champion and No. 1-ranked Isaiah Martinez also picked up a technical fall, topping Cody Burcher 22-7. Finally, 12th-ranked Zach Brunson won by major decision over Justin Kresevic at 174 pounds, 19-8.

In the second bout of ranked wrestlers on the afternoon, Martin, ranked 10th nationally, controlled the pace against No. 13 Emory Parker and cruised to an 11-3 major decision. Martin scored six critical first-period points, taking Parker down and then turning him on his back for a four-point nearfall. With the win, Martin is now 19-3 overall and a perfect 7-0 in duals.

Moore (18-2) clinched the dual when he pinned Andre Lee at 197 lbs. in 4:46. Moore led 11-3 at the time of the fall on the strength of five takedowns and an escape. Snyder (5-0) put an exclamation point on the dual with his fourth pin in five matches this year. He led Duece Rachal 12-6 after the first period on six takedowns and then got three more in the second. On the final one, he turned Rachal on his back and completed the fall in 4:17.

Ohio State returns to the mat next Sunday, Jan. 22, when it takes on Maryland at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md. Good Counsel in the alma mater of Snyder, who went 179-0 in three seasons for the Falcons.

Head coach Tom Ryan
On Tomasello getting the crowd involved
"Keeping the crowd involved is critical in a home match. You want them on your feet, you want them excited. Nate has been a leader here for a long time. No surprise that he came out here and wrestled the way he did."

On Ohio State getting bonus points throughout the match
"We know that we are a team that is going to be in the hunt for a championship going forward. We have to be a team that is scoring bonus points. Pinning is an art. Majoring good people takes a tremendous amount of work. We need to continue to do that."

Redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello
On his match against Zane Richards
"I wanted to go out there and be real aggressive and attack early. I felt like I did a good job of that and I am excited to get out there and continue to compete against him in Big Tens and NCAAs."

On Ohio State's three pins
"It's huge. That's always how you want to finish and get your team six points. Looking at Big Tens and NCAAs, it's going to take getting bonus points like that to win. Kollin had a great match and I am really pumped for him."

Redshirt freshman Kollin Moore
On winning via a pin
"When you get a guy taken down you have to kind of snuggle up. You want to get the pin - It's the coolest thing in wrestling. I have been doing a lot better job of doing anything I can and squeezing as hard as I can to get a pin."

No. 4 Ohio State 29, No. 12 Illinois 18
St. John Arena | Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State: 7-0, 3-0; Illinois: 2-2, 1-2 | Attendance: 3,279
125: Travis Piotrowski (ILL) major decision over #12 Jose Rodriguez (OSU) 10-0 | ILL 4, OSU 0
133: #2 Nathan Tomasello (OSU) major decision over #4 Zane Richards (ILL) 12-4 | OSU 4, ILL 4
141: #14 Luke Pletcher (OSU) decision over Mousa Jodeh (ILL) 10-4 | OSU 7, ILL 4
149: #5 Micah Jordan (OSU) fall over Eric Barone (ILL) 6:19 | OSU 13, ILL 4
157: Kyle Langenderfer (ILL) technical fall over Anthony DeCarlo (OSU) 18-3 | OSU 13, ILL 9
165: #1 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) technical fall over Cody Burcher (OSU) 22-7 | ILL 14, OSU 13
174: #12 Zach Brunson (ILL) major decision over Justin Kresevic (OSU) 19-8 | ILL 18, OSU 13
184: #10 Myles Martin (OSU) major decision over #13 Emory Parker (ILL) 11-3 | ILL 18, OSU 17
197: #5 Kollin Moore (OSU) fall over Andre Lee (ILL) 4:46 | OSU 23, ILL 18
HWT: #1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) fall over Duece Rachal (ILL) 4:17 | OSU 29, ILL 18