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February 27, 2020 - 9:07am

Riggi Memorial event produces lofty scores; Oak Orchard youths capture GR Travel League crown

posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling.

When some of the best scratch bowlers in Western New York converge upon Legion Lanes in Le Roy for the annual Ron Riggi Memorial four-person handicap tournament, you can expect fierce competition and high scores.

Last weekend’s 18th edition of the tribute to the late LeRoyan was no exception as it took a 228 average per bowler to win the team event and just shy of a 250 average to claim the singles title.

Thirty-eight teams competed over the three-day tourney and when the smoke had cleared, the JLU team of Jeanette Sease of Brockport and Rochesterians Traci Spanitz, Rob Gustke and Steve Meyer claimed the $1,000 top prize with a 3,628 score (all scratch).

In singles, Matt Balduf of South Byron led the way with a 995 (again, all scratch) for four games – a 248 average – to win $125.

Balduf also was a member of two cashing teams – third place with Jim Pursel of Batavia, Mark Brown of Attica and Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls and seventh with his wife, Darleen; Ron Brown of Bergen and AJ Allenbrandt of Le Roy.

Other teams cashing:

-- Rob Sease of Brockport, Mickey Hyde of Le Roy, Norm Bialuski of Rochester, Ryan Kretchmer of Rochester, 3,610, $500.
-- Pursel, Brown, Kai Clark of Rochester, Josh Elliott of Attica, 3,560, $230.
-- Derek Leach of Batavia, Nathan Cordes of Batavia, Devon Leach of Stafford, Paul Bacon of Lockport, 3,486, $220.
-- Bob Vitagliano of Niagara Falls, Kevin Volker of Tonawanda, Pete Maduri of North Tonawanda, Sam Capizzi of Rochester, 3,485, $210.

Brown placed third in the singles event with 976 while Hyde was sixth with 968.

On Feb. 8-9, Balduf and Elliott teamed with Mike Johnson of Batavia to win the Nunda Fire Department three-person no-tap tournament at Letchworth Pines in Portageville, recording 2,465 for three games to pocket the $750 top prize.

They were followed by the Letchworth-area team of Bob Gelser, Ryan Nugent and Craig Barkley with 2,377 ($375) and the team of Elliott, Tom Rohl of Le Roy and Brown with 2,374 ($255).

Sixty-three teams participated and raised around $2,000 for the Nunda FD.


Veteran Batavia right-hander Paul Spiotta returned to the lanes this past Sunday after a 40-day layoff due to serious medical issues by cashing in the highly-competitive Tommy Kress 60 & Over Tour “A Better Choice Pro Shop” tournament at AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester.

Spiotta, 62, rolled games of 205, 246, 227 for a 678 series to place in the top 16 and advance to the finals of the event, which featured some of the best 60-and-over bowlers in Western New York.

He followed that with a 206 game in the first round of the eliminator finals, but missed advancing further by about 20 pins. Still, the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Famer earned $150 for his efforts.

Fellow Batavian Fred Gravanda (Spiotta’s cousin) fell a bit short from advancing but did grab the final cashing spot ($80).

Rick Jewell of Rochester won the $1,000 first prize with a 227-181 win over John Rosati, also of Rochester. Jewell registered a 300 game during the qualifying round.

The Tour’s next stop is on March 15 at Miller Lanes in Honeoye Falls.


The Oak Orchard Bowl I team of Bailee Snook, Jesse Keller, Ben Lennox and Paige Snook captured the 2019-20 Genesee Region Youth Travel League championship in a three-team race that went down to the wire.

Paige Snook rolled a 563 series, Keller had 557 and Lennox 553 during position-round action at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen last Sunday to upend Le Roy Legion Lanes, 16-12, and move past the LeRoyans for the title.

Oak Orchard Bowl I posted a 129-95 record, a point-and-a-half better than Mount Morris and two points ahead of Le Roy, which held the top spot going into the position round.

Individual season leaders are as follows:

High game scratch – Dennis Van Duser, Perry, 277 (recorded on the final day).
High series scratch – Gavin Baney, Oak Orchard Bowl II, 708.
High game handicap – Baney, 310.
High series handicap – Baney, 867.
High average – Van Duser, 199.

High game scratch – Jillian Menzie, Rose Garden Bowl I, 237.
High series scratch – Menzie, 647.
High game handicap – Corinne Saluste, Mancuso Strike Force, 268.
High series handicap – Brooke Jarkiewicz, Rose Garden Bowl I, 733.
High average – Menzie, 196.

The travel league’s no-tap tournament and banquet are scheduled for March 15 at Mount Morris Lanes.

In recent youth league competition at Rose Garden Bowl, Menzie rolled a 279 game and 653 series.

The Genesee Region USBC Youth Doubles Tournament is set for March 7-8 at Oak Orchard Bowl, with squads at 1 p.m. on both days. To enter, contact Tom Fluker at 585-354-2199.


Entry forms for the 14th annual Genesee Region USBC Association Tournament are available for download from the association’s website – www.bowlgr.com -- and at association bowling centers.

The tournament is scheduled for March 20-22, 27-29, with the Team event at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen and Doubles & Singles at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

Several teams have already submitted their entry forms to the association office. In fact, the noon squad on Sunday, March 22 is full at eight teams.

To make reservations, call 585-861-0404 or send an email to [email protected].

Four other local handicap tournaments are on tap for this weekend:

Mount Morris Lanes – 21st annual Bob Bertram Memorial 5-person no-tap, this Friday through Sunday and next Friday through Sunday. First place is $1,000 guaranteed and the entry fee is $125 per team. Call 585-658-2540 to enter.

Medina Lanes – 8th annual Mark Wengrzycki Memorial 3-person no-tap, Saturday, with squads at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Entry fee is $75 per team and first place is $750 (one in six teams will cash). Call 585-318-4474 to enter.

Perry Bowling Center – Sonny Yencer 3-person, this Saturday and Sunday with four squads on Saturday and two on Sunday. Entry fee is $75 per team. Call 585-237-6358 to enter.

Oak Orchard Bowl – The Gamerz 3-person no-tap fundraiser lists three squads on Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m. The entry fee is $60 per team. Call 585-589-6900 to enter.

By the way, Oak Orchard Bowl celebrated its 60th year in business earlier this month.

You can find a feature story about Elsie Boring, who has bowled in leagues there since the center opened, by going to www.orleanshub.com.


After a pair of subpar performances in TV finals the previous two weeks, Australian Jason Belmonte added the U.S. Open title to his unbelievable Professional Bowlers Association Tour resume on Sunday with a 226-201 victory over top-seeded Anthony Simonson of Little Elm, Texas, at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb.

The victory was worth $30,000 for Belmonte, who has a record 12 major titles and now has 23 career victories on the PBA Tour.

It also enables him to join Mike Aulby as the only players in PBA history to complete the Super Slam, which includes the U.S. Open, USBC Masters, PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship and PBA Players Championship.

He sealed the win over Simonson, a fellow two-hander, by converting the difficult 3-6-9-10 spare in the 10th frame.

Belmonte had struggled on TV of late, having rolled a 185 game in a loss to eventual champion Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., in the finals of the PBA Players Championship on Feb. 15 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus (Ohio) Bowl.

O’Neill captured the title and $75,000 first prize by rolling two strikes and nine pins in the 10th frame to edge EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., 233-232.

This week’s finals of the PBA Indianapolis Open will be televised live at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on FS1.

The finalists for the show are as follows:

1, Jesper Svensson, Sweden.

2, Shawn Maldonado, Houston.

3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas.

4, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

5, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.



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