Jake Rosenbeck of Medina, bowling in just his third scratch singles event, captured the 67th Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament on Sunday with a 233-212 victory over top-seeded Matt Balduf of Batavia.
Rosenbeck, a strong right-hander with a high-powered release, struck on six of his last eight deliveries – including three strikes in the 10th frame – to close out Balduf for the $600 first prize.
Balduf was the tournament’s high qualifier with an 893 four-game series on Sunday morning, and followed that up with an 882 four-game series in the semifinals to earn the No. 1 seed. He earned $340.
The two-day tournament at Perry Bowling Center drew 58 entries – up from 37 when it was held at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion last year. Thirteen of the bowlers – five from the Saturday 12:30 p.m. squad, four from the Saturday 4 p.m. squad and four from the Sunday 10 a.m. squad -- advanced to the semifinals.
Rosenbeck, 34, a manufacturing group leader at General Motors in Rochester, qualified off the Saturday 12:30 p.m. squad with 859 for four games and then posted 778 in the semifinals to earn the No. 3 seed for the five-bowler stepladder finals.
In the first match, four-time champion Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls defeated 18-year-old Dennis Van Duser of Perry, 231-170, before dropping a 209-185 decision to Rosenbeck.
Rosenbeck then knocked off second-seeded Brady Weber of Perry, 224-186, before meeting Balduf in the title match.
The 25-year-old Weber, who rolled a 275 final game in the semifinals to advance, won $260, while defending champion Culp, 42, pocketed $225 and Van Duser won $200.
He said he was expecting a challenging oil pattern – which it was – and had the mindset to not give away the 1-3 pocket and pick his spares.
“I knew that it was going to be a tough condition out there – as it should be for a scratch tournament -- and I was just trying to make my spares – fill the frames,” Rosenbeck said. “I figured that being on the plus side of 800 after four games would put me in a pretty good spot.”
Using a Roto-Grip Halo throughout the tournament, he played around the third arrow, staying behind the ball for maximum forward revolutions.
“My game is up and in -- not to covering a lot of boards – and that’s where I get my best carry,” he said. “The big hook is not my game. I try to stay behind the ball and not get around it too much.”
The stepladder finals featured a variety of styles – Rosenbeck staying behind the ball; Balduf off the side more; Weber utilizing the contemporary pro release; Culp as the prototypical power player; and Van Duser, a two-hander.
Rosenbeck competed in the tournament last year, but didn’t make the cut. He finished in second place two years ago in the GRUSBC Masters at (then) Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.
He and his wife, Kayla, have a son, Henry, almost 2, and are expecting another child in April. He bowls in the Thursday Firefighters League at Medina Lanes.
Balduf, 52, registered several big games, including 253 in qualifying (his 893 was good for a $25 bonus) and 259 and 269 in the semifinals.
Geoff Harloff of Batavia, the leader of the Saturday 4 p.m. squad with 872, fell one pin short of tying Van Duser and Culp for the fourth and fifth spots in the stepladder finals – shooting 771 in the semis. He earned $130.
Mickey Hyde of Le Roy placed seventh at 765 in the semifinal round and won $120.
Other cashers were Brian Weber of Perry, $110; Mike Pettinella of Batavia, $105; Mike Johnson of Batavia, $100; Don Parrott of Warsaw, $95; Chris Huntz of Castile, $90, and Kevin Reigle of Elba, $90.
For tournament statistics, go to www.bowlgr.com.
The Genesee Region USBC Masters is scheduled for Feb. 13-14 at Letchworth Pines in Portageville.
Photo: From left, Jake Rosenbeck, Matt Balduf, Brady Weber, Scott Culp and Dennis Van Duser. Photo by Mike Pettinella.