PUEBLO, Colo. - The first wrestling match at CSU-Pueblo since 2001 ended with a fizzle Wednesday night, as visiting Mesa State, led by coach and former CSU-Pueblo three-time national champion, Chuck Pipher, upended the ThunderWolves 27-12 in front of 2,012 fans at Massari Arena.
After 149-pounder Louie DeSantis (Jr., Escondido, Calif.) earned the win in the opening match of the night with a 9-4 decision over Keith Johnson, claiming his team-leading 17th win of the season, Pack wrestlers lost four straight matches, including a first period fall by 184-pounder Kellen Desmond to Andrew Laiminger.
A rousing win by Pueblo native Tony Chavarria (Fr., Pueblo West, Colo.) at 197 pounds over James Breidel by a 13-8 decision gave the Pack life, trimming the deficit to 17-6, but a pin in the heavyweight class of Frank Sandoval by Trevor Stapp doomed the Pack's realistic chances of victory.
The night did end on a high note for the ThunderWolves, winning two of the final three matches, including another Pueblo native getting a win, 141-pounder Markus Portillos (Fr., Pueblo, Colo.), holding on for a slim 10-8 decision over Jason Wenger.
Despite the success of the local boys, the ThunderWolves' loss marks only their third loss to Mesa State in school history, out of eight total meetings. Mesa State's win marks their first RMAC dual win since 2006-07 after going winless in RMAC duals last season.
The ThunderWolves' home stand doesn't getting any easier as sixth-ranked Adams State comes to town Thursday night at 7 p.m.