It was a quick night of wrestling at Tiernan Center.
A close night, too.
With all but one match resulting in a pin or a forfeit, Union County narrowly edged Richmond 42-39 on Wednesday in the first dual match of the season for both teams.
Devin Strait clinched the victory for the Patriots with his pin at 195 pounds, the sixth pinfall victory of the night for the visitors.
“The last few years, it’s always been a pretty aggressive match on all parts,” said UC coach Dan Briggs. “I knew we needed it (the pins). We’re short tonight. We have several kids out sick.
“We told them before we started, ‘We have to come out firing.'”
Both sides did.
Richmond’s Blake Hillard scored the first pin of the night in the first match of the night, pinning Cameron Coffman at 113 pounds with 9 seconds left in the first period.
That set the tone. Union County responded with two pins of its own in the next two matches — Daniel McClurg at 120 pounds and Cole Bowers at 126.
Richmond’s Ryan Weireter had the first non-pin victory of the night, defeating Tyler Redd 9-4 at 132.
Like Union County, the Red Devils also had to contend with illness and a shuffled lineup.
“We knew it was going to be a close dual,” said RHS coach Jeremy Bane. “I thought we wrestled pretty well. The kids who were out (there) competed and wrestled.
“We asked a couple of kids to move up. They competed. I’m pleased with where we’re at tonight. We always have to get better, but we’re getting there.”
Levi Oswald (145), Wes Hertel (160) and Emilio Aquino-Morales (182) also earned victories for the Patriots.
Kendrick Krieder (220) and Nate Trawick (heavyweight) secured pins for the Red Devils.
Trawick, a junior, is a two-time semistate qualifier and went 5-0 over the weekend for RHS at the Lafayette Jeff Invitational.
“Every year, it’s always a heated dual. It always goes back and forth,” Trawick said of the annual matchup with the Patriots. “It always comes down to couple of points.
“They have good wrestlers. We have good wrestlers. It always comes down to the wire.”
Trawick won his match with a pin with 57 seconds left in the first period. He said being more aggressive is one thing he’s focused on this season.
“That’s what I want to do this year, is be more aggressive,” he said. “I’m getting my technique up. Now it’s just being more aggressive.
” … We have a lot of new guys (on the team), but everybody is just scrappy this year.”
Union County returns to action Saturday at the Milan Invitational.
“So far I’m pretty pleased,” Briggs said. “We’re coming along. They’re younger kids, and I’ve seen some pretty good development out of them.”
Richmond is in invitational action as well Saturday. The Red Devils travel to the Muncie South Invitational.
“I’m excited. I received the brackets today. I like our draws. We have some good matchups,” Bane said. “We have an opportunity to get some kids in the finals.
“I’m hoping the weather holds off enough that we can get up to Muncie and compete, because it’s a solid tournament with some decent competition.”