Bauta moved into the second round of wrestlebacks with a 7-4 decision over Haddonfield's Frank Fortino. Bauta posted an escape and takedown midway through the third period to grab a 7-3 lead.
Bauta was eliminated in the next round with a 3-1 loss to Moorestown's Tyreek Smith.
Bauta earned a match against defending champion Bryan Dobzanski, of Delsea Regional, by posting a 3-2 decision over East Brunswick's Michael Quintin.
Dobzanski, ranked No. 2 in the country, earned a first-period pin with a cradle.
Jesse Bauta, Southern Regional, Sr. (25-5)
Seed: Top bracket No. 8 seed.
Record vs. state qualifiers: 4-3.
Bauta’s road to Atlantic City: Finished first in District 32 and second in Region 6.
Back points: Bauta comes into his first state tournament battle-tested with four wins this season against fellow-state qualifiers. Bauta wrestles East Brunswick’s Michael Quintin in the prelims with the winners moving on to wrestle defending state champ Bryan Dobzanski of Delsea Regional in the pre-quarters.