It was a pin or nothing in contested matches for St. Clair Wrestling to open the season at home Tuesday.

The Bulldogs won four contested matches in the dual meet against DeSmet, each by pin along with two forfeits, taking a 39-36 loss overall. DeSmet also picked up four wins by pin and two forfeits and eked out the team victory with an additional win by decision.

“DeSmet is in the largest school classification, Class 4, and is a tough, well-coached team,” St. Clair Head Coach Mel Hughes said. “We always want to test our team early in the season against a team like that and we learned a lot about ourselves last night.”

The Herman boys held down the heavy weights for the Bulldogs with Aaron Herman pinning Jacobi Jackson at 285 pounds in 1:06 and Ryan Herman pinning Jacob Perez in the 220 match in 1:37.

Grant Bay topped DeSmet’s Jack Combs at 182 pounds in 1:13 and Seth Banks had the quickest win of the night, pinning Andy Cross in 31 seconds at 145.

“We learned last night like all teams do at this point in the season that we have a lot to work on,” Hughes said. “That said, we were pleased with our intensity, conditioning and will to win displayed by our team. We had a great turnout by our fans last night and we appreciated them being here and supporting our team. We hope to see many fans follow us on the road the next several days.”

DeSmet had winners by pin at 126, 132, 160 and 170 pounds. Respectively, Kyle Granquist pinned Cassidy Shoemate, Spenser Daly pinned Meredith Howard, Cory Peterson covered Colin Thacker and Michael Cross topped Caleb Hooks.

In the only match to last all three rounds, DeSmet’s Ian Warren picked up a 6-1 decision victory against Dalton Thompson at 138.

Both teams had three open weights, leading to a no contest at 113 pounds. Trenton Balderson (152) and Ryan Barrett (195) were both winners by forfeit for St. Clair. Colton King (106) and Jesse Hahs (120) won without an opponent.

“We fell short by three points while winning four of nine contested bouts,” Hughes said. “Of course we are not pleased with any loss, but we felt like our team, which included five first-year wrestlers competing on varsity, had a solid performance overall.”

The Bulldogs will next hit the mats Friday and Saturday at the Westminster Tournament.