Junior Charlie Ehrman hadn’t wrestled since the seventh grade. Good thing he missed the sport enough to take the mat this season for Huntington. His pin in 3:29 at 170 pounds keyed No. 13 Huntington’s 34-33 victory over No. 4 North Babylon Wednesday night in the first round of the Suffolk dual-meet tournament in North Babylon.
It was the 600th dual-meet win in 67 years for Huntington, which became the seventh school on Long Island to reach the milestone.
Huntington (16-2) will wrestle No. 5 Lindenhurst (18-1), a 57-9 winner over Miller Place, in the quarterfinal round at Suffolk CC-Brentwood on Saturday at 10 a.m.
“It’s his first season back and he has tremendous fight in him,” Huntington coach Travis Smith said. “His win was huge for us. You can never count him out.”
Ehrman erased a first-period deficit before pinning Rodney Green in 3:29 to give Huntington an 18-0 lead. “It’s my first year back on the mat and I have a will to win,” said Ehrman, who’s 14-10. “This one was special for sure.”
Huntington used three other comeback victories to take a commanding lead. Jon Canas scored a takedown with seven seconds left to tie his 182-pound bout with Audwin Philips at 6. In the overtime, Canas countered a takedown, and after a short scramble scored two points for the 8-6 win.
Ryan Stieve used a reversal and three back points for a 9-8 win over Andrew DiGiacomo at 195. Stieve erased an 8-4 deficit with a five-point move with 21 seconds left in the third period.
The Blue Devils extended the lead to 27-9 when Ryan Mock used a reversal and three back points for a 5-4 win over sophomore Tony Negron, who finished second in Suffolk at 99 last year. Negron scored a reversal and two back points to take a 4-0 lead midway through the third but couldn’t hold on as Mock hit the neat switch for two points and put Negron on his back with a half-Nelson for the win.
“Ryan has great hips and he’s dangerous in certain situations,” Smith said. “He beat a really good kid.”
It all seemed to break Huntington’s way as the Blue Devils opened a 34-18 lead with three bouts left. “We needed three straight pins to end it and grab the win,” North Babylon coach Anthony Sparacio said. “And we couldn’t pull it off.”
The Bulldogs pulled within 34-24 after David Miele-Estrella pinned Ryan Postiglione in 3:28 at 138. The comeback attempt ended when North Babylon’s Jake Colonna turned in a 10-3 win over Jared Leake at 145 to make it 34-27.
“Our guy wrestled tough and didn’t give up the pin,” Smith said. “He did his job at 145.’’
With the win in hand, Huntington forfeited at 152 for the final margin of 34-33.