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Turlock wrestling escapes with win

Turlock wrestling escapes with win

Turlock High's Gerardo Ricardo, right, and Pitman High's Tyler Klinkhammer battle in the 135-pound match.

POSTED February 4, 2011 10:49 p.m.

When the Turlock High girls gym is packed with screaming fans, the place can feel like a coliseum with the bleachers rising well above the floor. So just imagine being one of the wrestlers in Wednesday night’s crosstown rivalry dual matchup between Pitman High and Turlock High, with both teams fighting for a share of the Central California Conference title.

It’s a fitting comparison, considering ancient Rome held battles between gladiators at coliseums. But in this case, death was not at stake. A league title was — and the wrestlers battled with everything they had while fans from above screamed encouragements.

The winners: the Bulldogs.

Not by much, though. Turlock escaped its own gym with a 34-33 win after prevailing by criteria of having more pins/forfeits in the showdown. By the end of the night, both teams finished with seven wins for a score of 33-33 — though the shorthanded Pride gave up 12 of those points in forfeits.

That means the Bulldogs improved to 19-8 overall and 4-1 in the CCC. A victory in Wednesday’s league tournament would give them a co-championship and at least a share of the CCC title for the 10th time in 12 years.

“When something ends in a tie,” Pitman coach Adam Vasconcellos said, “the smallest things make the difference in a dual meet. We made many mistakes but still wrestled well.”

At one point, Turlock was ahead 27-6.

Turlock earned pins from Fabian Garcia (125 pounds) and Alexia Moreno (119), while teammates Albino Orozco (152), Omar Flores (189) and heavyweight Ricky Flores all earned decisions.

Pitman, on the other hand, competed with fewer wrestlers and finished with seven wins, three of them coming by falls (Emilio Saavedra at 112, Andrew Perez at 140 and Kyle Martinez at 215), one by technical fall (Tyler Klinkhammer at 135), one by major decision (Marcel Vega at 160) and two by decisions (Logan Wolfley at 145 and Mario Aguirre at 171).

Turlock also avenged last season’s loss to Pitman, also another exciting match.

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