Sanchez recovers with big Day 2

By Ana Patejdl – Staff Writer
Gilroy – How fitting it is that Matt Sanchez’s situation at the
NCAA wrestling championships would come down the way it did on
Friday.
By Ana Patejdl – Staff Writer

Gilroy – How fitting it is that Matt Sanchez’s situation at the NCAA wrestling championships would come down the way it did on Friday.

After dropping into the 133-pound consolation bracket after a loss to Oklahoma State’s Nathan Morgan on Thursday, the tenth-seeded Sanchez bounced back to win two matches Friday, earning a matchup with familiar rival and No. 7 seed Scott Jorgensen of Boise State.

The Gilroy native lost two of three matches to Jorgensen this year, including the Pac-10 championship match. But with the title of All-American at stake Friday, Sanchez delivered.

The 5-foot-9 senior at Cal State Bakersfield won a 4-2 decision over Jorgensen, earning himself All-American honors for the second year in a row.

“It’s almost poetic, really,” said the wrestler’s mother, Diana Sanchez-Bentz.

After being taken down early in the match, Sanchez responded with a reversal moments later. He then gained significant riding points in the second period, which would end up being the deciding points.

Sanchez continued on to defeat unseeded Drew Headlee of Pittsburgh next, pinning him in 2:44 for his 22nd pin of the season.

He had started the day by using his senior experience to overpower 6-foot-tall freshman Tim Harner of Rider University 13-3 to bounce back from his loss in the championship bracket on Thursday.

“He was pretty dominant,” Sanchez-Bentz said, “He seemed like he had a plan. . . (A tall wrestler like Rider) has so much length that if he gets a cradle on you, it’s hard to get out of. It’s all arms and legs. Fighting an octopus, is what it looks like from the stands.”

In his second match of the day, Sanchez beat Navy’s Sam Gray after taking control in the third period with a reversal and back points.

Sanchez wrestles third-seeded Matt Reiter of Minnesota today for a chance at the third/fourth place match.

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