Sunday was a big night in Baton Rouge for former college bowlers, as a team of former Wichita State bowlers moved into second with 3,344 and team of former Nebraska bowlers took over seventh with 3,244 at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.
John Szczerbinski’s 710 (268-208-234) and Jesse Buss’ 702 (213-234-255) led CareerAthletes.com of Wichita to games of 1,138, 1,098 — despite two 10th frame opens — and 1,108 for the 3,344. AJ Demond added 690 (240-226-224), Chris Drewes 634 (215-193-226), and Casey Slaughter 608 (202-237-169). (I am not certain all five bowled for Wichita State.)
The 1,138 is the highest first game this year, topping the 1,115 of Nicholas J’s Pro Shop 2 of La Crosse, which leads team with 3,401.
Interestingly, the strong companion team on lanes 39-40 from Wichita featuring Rick Steelsmith, Justin Hromek, Paul Fleming, Tim Penner and Craig Jensen shot just 2,864.
Meanwhile, future Madison resident Derek Eoff blasted 779 (266-247-266) to lead Clone Huskers to the 3,244 (1,034-1,110-1,100) just a few lanes down on 31-32. The 779 is the highest series in team event this year, topping the 769 of Nick Heilman of Nicholas J's Pro Shop 2.
For the Clone Huskers, Adam Cardwell added 659 (179-253-227), Daniel White 648 (199-225-224), Tim Behrendt 631 (223-196-212), and Rick Volhard of Mosinee 527 (167-189-171).
Eoff, whose group bowls minor events at 11:30 p.m. Monday, said in a message Monday morning that he used a Storm MODERN MARVEL all three games of team and that he "started going up 7-9 and chased the pattern left."
Cardwell said in a message Monday afternoon that the group "stuck to the game plan of throwing practice shots with surface outside of 7. A few of us threw plastic up the middle also. We decided to risk it and get lined up after practice. I struggled a little with that, but wound up throwing a Victory Road solid sliding on 17 and hitting 9 at the arrows. I had a good reaction and only subtle moves were required. I took my hand out of it as the lane will do all the work. At the end, I was sliding on 29 and hitting 18. I was farthest right. Derek was only 5 boards deeper or so. A blower 7-10 stopped him from a shot at 800. He had a lot. He was committed and stayed right with the least amount of hand I've ever seen him use. We never really made any big jumps left. The theme I'd say is that less is more and let the lane do the work. I you try to create, there will be trouble."
Folks, that is a great, concise report that is pretty much what I've heard from many others who bowled well — and about what we plan to do ... except that we have nowhere near the rev rates of this group!
For those who aren't familiar with Eoff, he is a phenomenal bowler with one of the best physical games I've ever seen, featuring a huge rev rate achieved virtually effortlessly. In a better world, where the PBA Tour was big time, I have no doubt he'd have been a star.
Note Cardwell's statement that Eoff "was committed and stayed right with the least amount of hand I've ever seen him use."
That is the essence of team play, which in this case also worked out for Eoff in score.
If they have any kind of decent cross in front of their group, Eoff has a real opportunity to knock off all-events leader Ryan Whitney's 2,170.
USBC has posted the scores to its online system — the leaderboard is here — but has not put out a news release.
If and when a release is put out, I will update this blog.