Clarion Wrestlers Bow Out on First Day of NCAA Tournament

PITTSBURGH – The Clarion wrestling team authored a series of gutsy efforts on Thursday, with Evan Delong and Greg Bulsak competing at the 2019 NCAA Division I Championships at PPG Paints Arena.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

Both Delong and Bulsak found themselves on the wrong end of a pair of hard-luck losses, with both dropping tight consolation matches that would have stretched their seasons into Friday. Delong finishes his season with a 16-15 overall record and his career with a mark of 88-59. Bulsak wraps his season with a 17-8 overall record.

Delong’s day started with the difficult task of taking on reigning national champion and second-ranked Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State. He showed his trademark aggressiveness in the early going against Joseph, taking several shots but coming up just short of landing the takedown. Joseph countered one of Delong’s shots and scrambled behind him for a two-point takedown, and then maneuvered him for a near-fall. He brought Delong to his back again, this time getting the fall with just two seconds left in the first period.

In his consolation match against Lehigh’s 18th-ranked Gordon Wolf, Delong landed a pair of solid shots in the first period to tie things up at 4-4, but Wolf countered with a reversal and a two-point near fall in the second period. Delong connected on a double-leg to start the third period to pull with 8-6, and the two wrestlers traded reversals to eventually put Wolf ahead 11-8. Delong took Wolf down one more time to make it 11-10, but with the riding point in hand, Wolf took the win 12-10.

Bulsak opened his afternoon against Stanford’s eighth-ranked Nathan Traxler, who defeated him earlier this season at the Cliff Keen Invitational. The first period was tight, with Traxler managing just a single takedown to take a 2-0 lead after three minutes of action. The lead became 4-1 as Traxler took Bulsak down again, though Bulsak threw a flurry of shots at him in each of the three periods. Traxler took him down one more time and claimed the riding point, defeating him in a 7-3 decision.

Against Ben Honis in the consolation match, Bulsak went down in a pair of takedowns in the first period, trailing 4-1 after three minutes of action. He escaped from the bottom position to start the second period, cutting the lead to 4-2 and then spun around Honis for a takedown to tie the score at 4-4. Bulsak locked in and rode Honis long enough to wipe out the latter’s riding time advantage, leaving a relatively fresh slate entering the third period. He took Honis down again late in the third period, but the two were still tied at 6-6 entering the final 30 seconds. Honis worked Bulsak for a takedown in the final seconds, though, taking the 8-6 decision.


CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion softball team played a non-conference doubleheader today at Memorial field, falling by scores of 23-6 and 13-2 to Slippery Rock on Thursday. The Golden Eagles (0-21) will travel to the University of the Sciences on Sunday before starting conference play next Friday against IUP.

The Golden Eagles dropped the opening game by a score of 23-6, with the majority of the damage coming in the first two innings of play. Macy Rubin got the start on the rubber, tossing 2.1 innings surrendering 12 runs and six walks.

Clarion had a chance to chip into what was a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Moriah Lynn lead off the inning with a double to left field, then Nicole Collins singled in the next at bat. Lynn scored after an error by the Slippery Rock catcher to cut the lead to five.

After the Rock plated one in the top of the second to make it 7-1. The Golden Eagles had a similar chance in the bottom of the second, this time with Katie Zameroski leading off with an infield single. After Chelsea Liroff walked, both Zameroski and Liroff advanced into scoring position on the same passed ball. Lynn who swung a hot bat all day cleared the bases when she doubled for the second time in as many innings driving in both Zameroski and Liroff.

Slippery Rock added five runs in the top of the third inning to ultimately put the game out of reach making the score 12-3. Clarion would try to claw its way back in the bottom of the third courtesy of a leadoff single my Mackenzie Wolfe, a double by Rebecca Kelley, a single by Jessica Cartia and a clutch pinch-hit single from Macycee Shumaker the Golden Eagles scored three runs cutting the Slippery Rock lead to just six.

The Rock kept the scoring train on the tracks scoring 11 more runs in the closing two innings to reach the final score of 23-6.

In the second game, Slippery Rock grabbed an early 1-0 lead, but Mackenzie Wolfe tied things up in the bottom of the first with a towering shot to left field for her third homer of the season.

Slippery Rock scored one run in the top of the second and five runs in the top of the third to stretch their lead to 7-1 and carried on the attack from there in building a 13-1 lead. Clarion had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning with Wolfe doubling to right and Cartia singling up the middle. Molly Cowden drove in Wolfe with a sac fly to make the score 13-2, but Cowden would get caught stealing on the very next pitch to end the ballgame.

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