I-30 Service Rental takes Thursday Men's Title
Larry Mason

May 24, 2006 - Four teams vied for the Thursday Men’s Commercial League bowling title this past Thursday evening, the King Pins, the Welding Store, Watkins and I-30 Service Rental. When the night’s action was finished, I-30 Service Rental had the championship in hand, followed by Watkins in second place, the Welding Store in third and the King Pins in fourth. Thirteen of the 20 men competing finished the night with series of 600 or better. 

At the outset of Thursday play, the King Pins had knocked down 114,340 pins over the course of the season, had won 102 games while losing only 42, and all six members were averaging between 202 and 224.

The Watkins squad accounted for 110,410 pins over the length of the 36-week league, had won 89 games while losing 55, and had three men averaging 212 or more, with two bowlers averaging in the 190s.

The I-30 Service Rental crew collected 109,880 pins during the season, had won 88 games while losing 56, and boasted three of the leagues top 200 averages, with their two remaining members averaging in the 190s.  

   The Welding Store quintet had amassed 104,300 pins during the season, had won 76.5 games while losing 67.5, had two 200 or better averages on the team along with two bowlers averaging in the 190s, one in the 180s and one in the 150s. 

Based on total pin-fall, wins versus losses and individual averages, the odds going into Thursday’s championship roll-off certainly had to favor the King Pins. But, bowling can be a fickle sport, and it was certainly fickle on Thursday as far as the King Pins were concerned. 

To get into the championship round of play, a team had to win one of the four quarterly qualifiers, or, if one team won two or more of the quarters, be the team with the highest pin-fall over the course of the season without winning a quarter. The championship competition was rolled on three pairs of lanes. Competitors drew lots to determine on which pair of lanes each would start the evening’s competition. After Game 1 was completed, the pair of teams on lanes 1 & 2 moved to lanes 3 & 4 for Game 2, the teams on 3 & 4 moved to 5 & 6 and the teams from 5 & 6 moved to 1 & 2. After Game 2, each pair of teams again moved to the pair of lanes to their immediate right. This format makes for a very fair competition with regard to lane conditions. With all of this explained, then, here is how the evening’s play evolved.

After game one was in the book, I-30 Rental had tossed a 1,110, Watkins a 1,081, the King Pins a 1,064 and the Welding Store a 1,029. I-30 held a 29-pin lead over Watkins, a 46-pin lead over the King Pins and 81 pins over the Welding Store. 

When Game 2 had finished, I-30 rolled a 1,124, Watkins a 1,085, the King Pins a 1,062 and the Welding Store a 1,141. I-30 had increased its lead over Watkins and the King Pins, while the Welding Store squad had chipped 17 pins off of I-30's 81-pin lead after Game 1.

I-30 turned the evening’s competition into a romp in Game 3, firing a 1,193, compared to Watkins’ 1,112, the King Pins’ 1,026 and the Welding Store’s 1,054. I-30 finished the night with a 3,427 three-game total to claim the championship. The second place runner-up was the Watkins team with a 3,278, while third place went to the Welding Store group with a 3,224.  Finishing in fourth place were the King Pins with a 3,152. 

Ironically, there were no 700s rolled during the championship round. As stated earlier, there were 13 600s recorded, six of these within striking distance of 700. Dewayne Roach, bowling for I-30 Rental, rolled the highest series of the night, a 676 with games of 212, 197 and 267. He was followed by Watkins’ teammates Vincent Smith and Tarry Davison, who shot 675 and 674, respectively. I-30’s Wayne Womack contributed a 672 to his team’s victory total. Mike Fletcher was high for the King Pins for the evening, rolling a 664, eight pins below his series average. Jason Keller, bowling with the King Pins, added a 652 to his team’s total pin count, 11 pins below his series average. 

Over the course of the season, there were three honor games fired, 300s by Bruce Michaelson and Ray Howser, and a 299 by Mike Gilliland.  Jason Keller came within nine pins of reaching the 800 series honor score, settling for a 791, the highest series in the men’s league this season. Ray Howser finished second with a 774 and Mike Fletcher third with a 768. The league’s best average was Mike Fletcher’s 224, which was not just the men’s league’s highest average, but was also the highest average across all of our leagues this season. Jason Keller finished second to Fletcher with a 221, while Chad Dailey claimed third place with a 220. This duo, Keller and Dailey, finished second and third to Fletcher on the center’s high average board standings, as well. 

Finally, the Most Improved Bowler award was capture by Evan Teer, who raised his average by 15 pins over the course of the year. Second best went to Jason Keller and his 13 pins, with Tarry Davison’s 12-pin improvement claiming third place.             

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling action at Classic Lanes.

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