Baum boosts Fallston over Bel Air

39-second pin is catalyst in Cougars' 43-25 victory


High Schools

January 16, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Fallston senior Chris Baum described his usual self as unemotional and said he spent the moments before yesterday's Harford County wrestling match with No. 14 Bel Air catching up on some sleep in the bleachers.

But when Baum's turn to wrestle arrived last night, the normally reserved 130-pounder showed plenty of emotion. A scowling Baum came out aggressively, pinning Steve Manning in 39 seconds and energizing the Cougars, who dominated in the middle weight classes and secured a 43-25 victory over the host Bobcats.

The Cougars (9-1-1, 3-1) were down 6-0 after the first two matches, but Baum's pin started a stretch in which Fallston won seven of eight matches to put away Bel Air, which was coming off an impressive victory over Edgewood. The Bobcats fell to 8-4 overall, 4-2 in the county.

"That happened against Rising Sun, too, where we started off bad before I wrestled," said Baum, who finished third in the state last year at 119 pounds. His record this season is 13-2. "I had to take it upon myself to do something about it. I'm never pumped up like this, but you've got to do what you've got to do. ... It was total intimidation."

Drew Beck followed Baum at 135 and won by technical fall over Kyle Poane to give the Cougars an 11-10 lead. Bel Air went back on top, 16-11, behind 140-pounder C.J. Malinowski, who pinned Chris Peotter in the third period. But from there, it was all Fallston.

"They have less holes than we do," said Bobcats coach Craig Reddish. "Our matchups weren't good and they had a lot of their younger kids step up."

The best match of the night was at 171 between Fallston's Dan Sullivan and Bel Air's Ryan Crabbs. Sullivan, helped by a point he was awarded because of an unnecessary roughness call on Crabbs, took a 5-3 lead into the third period.

An escape by Crabbs made it 5-4, and it appeared the Bel Air wrestler had the match won when he scored a takedown with just 16 seconds left. But Sullivan fought back and ultimately gained a reversal as time expired.

After a consultation at the scorer's table, the referee raised Sullivan's hand to give him a 7-6 decision and the Cougars a 25-16 lead. Pins by Mark Peotter at 189, Jeff Ramsey at heavyweight and Scott Parker at 112 sealed the deal.

"It was a good win for us," said Fallston coach Andy Amasia, whose team doesn't get a shot at county-leading Harford Tech until the final week of the season. "Where our strengths are, theirs are, but tonight, our strengths were a little tougher."

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