Baylor Shunk’s season debut, Carter Starocci fireworks highlight Penn State’s rout on mat

It may be too cold outside to watch fireworks.

However, fans inside Wilkinson Hall in Bloomington, Ind. on Sunday got their money’s worth in No. 1 Penn State’s 35-8 rout of No. 22 Indiana.

Penns Valley graduate Baylor Shunk nearly upset a ranked wrestler. Carter Starocci got to avenge his only other collegiate loss to Indiana’s DJ Washington, which ended up with the duo pushing and jawing at each other at the end.

The Nittany Lions got a pair of first period falls, and Donovon Ball got the call in place of Aaron Brooks during the rout.

“We all hang out a lot in the wrestling room, and we’re very, very close. Outside of wrestling, we’re always hanging out and stuff,” Alex Facundo said to the Penn State Sports Network. “We always got each other’s backs. It’s really awesome to see David Evans and Baylor get matches because I know that they can hang with anyone in the country. We have a really deep team at all the weight classes.”

The dual didn’t start out well for Penn State as Indiana’s Jacob Moran racked up a 17-2 technical fall on Marco Vespa in 4:48.

Shunk got the call at 133 to make his season and Big Ten dual debut. He took on No. 29 Henry Porter.

Shunk looked to score first with a takedown attempt, but Porter countered for the score. He escaped, and trailed 2-1 after one period.

In the second period, things got funky with Shunk and Porter. Porter collected an escape just under one minute left, and he added a takedown. Shunk was able to reverse Porter and nearly pinned him, but time ran out.

It was 5-5 to start third period, and Shunk earned a quick escape to lead. However, Porter got a takedown. Shunk didn’t stay down for long as he escaped again. The pair went to sudden victory, 7-7.

In the sudden victory period, Porter came out on top of a scramble situation for the winning score 37 seconds in.

The Nittany Lions were down 8-0 early, and didn’t lose another bout the rest of the dual.

Beau Bartlett took just 12 seconds to stick Joey Showalter at 141 pounds. Shayne Van Ness had five takedowns in a 17-5 major decision over Graham Rooks, which gave Penn State a 10-8 lead.

Levi Haines had no problems with No. 21 Derek Gilcher at 157 pounds in an 8-2 win. It was Haines’ fifth straight win over a ranked wrestler.

Facundo looked like a man on a mission in his 20-9 major decision over Robert Major. He gave up an initial takedown, but countered with eight of his own. He had one in the first period, four in the second period and three in third.

“I think giving up that first takedown really kind of let a bit of pressure off me. I’m like alright I got taken down. What’s the worst that can happen next?,” Facundo said. “It just allowed me to open up and fire off my attacks. I knew that the guy was getting tired as the first period ended.

“Coming up in like high school and youth wrestling, I just primarily wrestled on my feet. So, why should I shy away from it? (I) just go out there, score some points and have some fun with it.”

Penn State’s Carter Starocci avenged his only other collegiate loss on Sunday to Indiana’s DJ Washington, not pictured.
Penn State’s Carter Starocci avenged his only other collegiate loss on Sunday to Indiana’s DJ Washington, not pictured.

“Some fun” came up on the mat following Facundo’s victory.

Carter Starocci got to take on No. 15 DJ Washington, who handed Starocci his first collegiate loss in his first collegiate match. All week long, Starocci chirpped how much he was looking forward to this match.

Washington scored first though with a takedown, but he spent the rest of the match under Starocci. The defending two-time NCAA champion held a 4-2 lead after two periods of wrestling.

He forced a stall call on Washington as he didn’t want to get off the bottom. In the third period, Starocci received two stall points and at one point was waving Washington to the center of the mat as he was at the edge of the mat.

Starocci took Washington down twice in the third period, and was trying to run an arm bar and put him on his back, but was unable to do that. The final buzzer went off and Starocci won 10-3, but the two started jawing at one another and shoving each other. Coaches from both benches ran to the mat to separate the two.

Penn State led 21-8, and continued to roll.

Ball, like he has all year long, filled in admirably for Brooks to the tune of a 10-3 win over Clayton Fielden. Ball had three takedowns in the bout.

Max Dean put Drayton Harris in his patent bow and arrow and had Harris’ head touching the bottom of his own foot. Dean collected a fall in 1:28.

Greg Kerkvliet finished the dual off with a dominating 16-0 technical fall in 3:59. Kerkvliet had three sets of nearfall points of tilts, and collected several stall points.

No. 1 Penn State 35, No. 22 Indiana 8

Sunday at Bloomington, Ind.

125: Jacob Moran, I, tech. fall Marco Vespa, 17-2 (4:48)

133: No. 29 Henry Porter, I, dec. Baylor Shunk, 9-7 (SV)

141: No. 5 Beau Bartlett, PSU, pinned Joey Showalter, :12

149: No. 13 Shayne Van Ness, PSU, major dec. No. 30 Graham Rooks, 17-5

157: No. 9 Levi Haines, PSU, dec. No. 21 Derek Gilcher, 8-2

165: No. 8 Alex Facundo, PSU, major dec. Robert Major, 20-9

174: No. 1 Carter Starocci, PSU, major dec. No. 15 DJ Washington, 11-3

184: Donovon Ball, PSU, dec. Clayton Fielden, 10-3

197: No. 4 Max Dean, PSU, pinned Drayton Harris, 1:28

285: No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet, PSU, tech. fall No. 24 Jacob Bullock, 16-0 (3:59)

Extra matches

157: David Evans, PSU, dec. Luke Baughman, 6-2

157: Terrell Barraclough, PSU, major dec. Mason Alley, 17-4

Takedowns: PSU 27, I 10

Records: Penn State (13-0, 6-0 Big Ten), Indiana (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten)

Next match: Penn State at Rutgers, Friday, 7 p.m.