SMYRNA — When Greg Baum stepped onto the mat, Smyrna High only held a one-point lead and Caesar Rodney High had won the last two matches.
Baum was looking to give the Eagles momentum and start a run of victories.
That run happened and Tanner Mullen was able to cap it off in style.
Smyrna took every match from 120 pounds to 145, including three pins and a tech-fall, on its way to a 47-17 dual meet win over its Henlopen Conference Northern Division rivals Wednesday night.
The Eagles improved to 4-0 in the Henlopen North (9-2 overall) while CR dropped its first conference contest of the year to fall to 3-1 in the North (3-2 overall).
Baum recorded five points in the final round for a 5-0 decision over Mason Harrington to spark the decisive streak of Eagle wins. Baum and Harrington had traded victories against each other dating back to last season.
“I was pumped up, I was ready and I was excited for it,” said Baum, a sophomore. “He’s a good wrestler, I’m a good wrestler and it could go either way. It’s a lot of fun because I like having someone that can challenge me. He’s a good wrestler and he pushes me.”
After Baum gave Smyrna a 12-8 advantage through five matches, Cole Sebastianelli (126) and Chase Archangelo (132) earned pins. Nate Bryant (138) followed with a tech-fall before Mullen gave Smyrna its third pin in fourth matches for a 35-8 lead.
“I think that was just the right thing that we needed to start winning our matches and get that momentum back,” said Mullen, a junior.
Kalen Wilson (160), Hunter Moyer (182) and Terren Carter (285) also won via pinfall for the Eagles. It’s the sixth time in a row Smyrna has beaten Caesar Rodney in a dual meet.
Smyrna coach Kurt Howell credited Baum with putting the Eagles in control of the matchup.
“The big match for us was 120,” Howell said. “Mason got the best of him all last year and Greg has looked to have turned it around.”
“I kept wrestling to the bell,” Baum said. “I didn’t want it to be a close match, I wouldn’t to separate it.”
Howell also said, going into the match he thought the 145-pound matchup could end up being a pin for either team. Mullen was able to earn the fall 3:47 into the bout.
“We thought it could have been six points either way,” Howell said. “When came out on top in the second period we were really happy with that. It was a big momentum change for us.”
“I think I just got him honestly,” Mullen said. “I got him in a bad position and had to capitalize on that. I knew that was just what we needed and everyone was hyped up because it was a turning point in the match.
Jake Mitchell was the other winner on the night for the Eagles. He started the dual meet off with a 3-2 decision at 220 pounds.
All the matches won by the Riders were by decisions except for Cam Hayes who earned a tech-fall at 113 pounds.
Mike Primo (106), Tommy Gallucci (152), Andrew Sudler (170) and Mike Clavier (195) were the Riders who won their matches via decisions.