By Kevin Carroll -- ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Four Pride wrestlers finished in the top four of their respective weight classes to lead Hofstra to a sixth-place finish in Tuesday’s Lock Haven Classic.
Michael Hughes led the way for the Pride, finishing as the runner-up in the 285 weight class. Three wrestlers, Bryan Damon, Kyle Krasavage and Frank Affronti each took fourth place in the 125, 149, and 174 weight classes, respectively.
Hughes has been out to a hot start in the 2015-16 season, and he kept rolling to start the tournament Tuesday, dispatching Binghamton’s Sean Dee with a quick pinfall to advance to the second round. Hughes then pinned Stephen Suglio from Kent State, before squeaking by Pitt’s Ryan Solomon to advance to the finals.
Hughes fought hard throughout the match, but finally fell to Ryan Stolfi from Bucknell by pinfall at the 6:12 mark of the match to finish in second place.
At the 125 weight class, Bryan Damon was awarded a free pass to the second round, where he fell by a 7-0 decision to Pitt’s Jake Gromacki. Damon then went on a tear through the consolation bracket, winning three straight decisions to advance to the third-place match. However, he would find Gromacki waiting there for him, and Damon again found himself on the losing end, this time via pinfall.
Kyle Krasavage, a sophomore making his season debut on Tuesday, put on a very impressive performance to start, taking out Kyle Hammond from Lock Haven by a 12-2 major decision victory to pick up the victory in his first match.
Krasavage advanced past Clarion’s Sean Caruso by pinfall to advance to the semifinals, where he dropped a close 6-4 decision to Indiana’s Luke Blanton.
Krasavage picked up three more victories in the consolation bracket, including a 5-2 decision over teammate Ryan Burkert, but it was Blanton that ended Krasavage’s run with a 9-2 decision victory in the third-place match.
Frank Affronti also received a bye to the second round, where he would pick up a 6-0 decision over Bucknell’s Austin Wetterau. He eked out a 2-1 decision over Kent State’s Mike Vollant, but was handily defeated 12-0 in the semis by Pitt’s Teshan Campbell.
Like his teammates, Affronti also made it through his consolation bracket, advancing to the third-place match. There, he would run into Binghamton’s Jack McKeever, who ended Affronti’s day with a 4-2 decision in sudden victory.
In total, Hofstra finished with 43.5 points, leaving them far behind Pittsburgh, who won the tournament with 94.5 points. Indiana finished in second with 88 points.
The Hofstra wrestling team makes its long-awaited home debut on Sunday, Jan. 3, hosting the Virginia Military Institute and Bloomsburg University in a tri-match. The Pride will take on VMI at 3 p.m. and Bloomsburg at 5 p.m.