ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Hunter Gamble pinned 5th-seeded Zachary Zavatsky of Virginia Tech to advance Friday afternoon, but fell later Friday to Rutgers' Nicholas Gravina in the 184-pound consolation bracket.
Gamble finished the tournament with a 2-2 mark, finishing in the top-16 in his weight class.
Gamble stepped onto Mat 2 for his first bout of the day against a high-rated opponent in Zavatsky – who entered the tournament with a sparkling 24-2 record on the season. Zavatsky found himself in the consolation bracket after falling to No. 12 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) on Thursday – and Gamble put his shoulders to the mat very quickly on Friday.
Gamble was aggressive in the early going and – after the pair moved to the edge of the mat – recorded the fall in just 1:20. It was Gamble's second win in a row in the tournament after topping Bucknell's Garrett Hoffman on Thursday night.
In the second consolation match of his day, Gamble ran into Rutgers' Gravina, who scored an early 4-1 lead in the first period. Gamble pulled off a reversal to cut the lead to 4-3, but an escape by Gravina pushed the margin back to two points. Gravina added another takedown in the third for the final margin.
Gardner-Webb's season wraps up after the Runnin' Bulldogs sent three men to the NCAA Division I Championships for the second season in a row.