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October 26, 2017 - 7:34am

Two Mikes enter 300 circle for the first time; Best of the best invade Liverpool for U.S. Open

posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

A pair of Mikes – right-handers Mike Dillon of Albion and Mike DeVay Jr. of Batavia – found perfection for the first time on the bowling lanes last Thursday at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion and Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, respectively.

Dillon, competing in the Thursday Night Triples League at Oak Orchard Bowl, finished with a 300 for a 715 series on lanes 5-6.

A bowler as a kid, Dillon said he took up the sport about 15 years ago when he retired from the U.S. Army. Since then, he’s been league bowling a couple nights a week at Oak Orchard, averaging better than 200.

On this night, he started with 201 and 214 before finding the groove with his Hammer Phobia bowling ball. He said all of the balls were in the pocket, but it took a bit longer for the 10-pin to fall on the final delivery.

“The 6-pin popped out of the gutter and took out the 10,” said Dillon, adding that he was “chit-chatting” most of the game and didn’t realize he had a perfect game going until the final frame.

Dillon, 53, bowls on a team that includes his brother, Daryl, who rolled his high game (299) in summer league action this year.

DeVay, a member of the North Pole League at Mancuso’s, strung 12 consecutive strikes in the middle game on lanes 19-20, turning an otherwise so-so night into an evening to remember.

A 192 average bowler last season, he finished with a 625 series.

Attempts to reach him by phone on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The Sneezy’s Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl produced three more honor scores over the past two weeks – Reid Cole’s 300-814 on Oct. 16 and Robbie Hanks’ 277-265-277—819 on Oct. 23.

Cole now has five 300 games and three 800 series, while Hanks registered his third 800 set. Both scores came on lanes 9-10.

Other recent high scores around the Genesee Region:

-- Caycee Landers, 268—753 in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Landers is the girlfriend of Chris Bardol, a top scratch bowler in the area and owner of The North Pole Restaurant in Batavia. She moved to this area from Los Angeles.

-- Rachel Van Duser, 720, and Diane Hurlburt, 704, in the Monday Night League at Perry Bowling Center.

-- Michele Larson, 285, in the Monday Night NFL League at Mancuso’s.

-- Skylar Laesser, 248-214-267—729, in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso’s.

LIVERPOOL WELCOMES U.S. OPEN BOWLERS THIS WEEK

The 2017 U.S. Open got under way at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool on Wednesday night with a pre-tournament qualifier where bowlers who were not invited to compete had their chance to win spots in the 144-bowler field.

The participants in the limited field earned their spots primarily through invitations based on their on-lane performances throughout 2016.

An additional 19 spots were earned through the PTQ – with three of those berths going to Rochester bowlers Dan Vick, Mike Rose Jr. and Bill Hasiotis.

The major tournament features most of the best professional bowlers in the world and offers a $30,000 first prize. The stepladder finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Canada’s Francois Lavoie is the defending champion. The 24-year-old right-hander rolled a 300 game on TV en route to the title at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. He became only the second foreign-born player to win the tournament, joining Mika Koivuniemi of Finland (2001).

Other notable PBA and PWBA stars competing include Chris Barnes (who was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame last week), Jason Belmonte, Parker Bohn III, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, Brad Angelo of Lockport, Norm Duke, Liz Johnson (formerly of Cheektowaga), Sean Rash, E.J. Tackett, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams.

The full field will begin qualifying at 8 a.m. Friday. Qualifying will consist of three eight-game blocks over three days.

After 24 games, the field will be cut to the top fourth (36 players) for Monday’s cashers’ round, which will consist of an additional eight games to determine the top 24 players for round-robin match play.

Match play will begin Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern with the first of three eight-game rounds. Match play resumes at 10 a.m. Tuesday with the final two blocks of qualifying, including a position round. The five finalists will be determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.

Starting Friday, each round of the 2017 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast live on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the PBA.

Flamingo Bowl is located off Thruway Exit 38, about 105 miles east of Batavia.

USBC MEMBERSHIP REWARDS AVAILABLE AT BOWL.COM

Monday’s mail included an envelope from the United States Bowling Congress and in it was my 2017-18 membership card obtained through my participation in the Geracerealty.com/No Finer Diner doubles league at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

A letter signed by USBC President Frank Wilkinson thanked me for supporting USBC in its role as the National Governing Body and for helping to provide A Future for the Sport (USBC’s slogan the past few years).

The envelope also included two small inserts – one touting BenefitHub, an online site that offers discounts from major businesses as well as local deals and offers on car rentals, hotels, restaurants, etc., and the other promoting a $1,000 shopping spree.

These promotions can be found by going to bowl.com/memberrewards and bowl.com/adultsweepstakes.

When I clicked on the first one, and entered my location, I found discounts from The North Pole, Sunny’s and Center Street Smokehouse in Batavia, Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Wolves Den in Basom as well as Batavia Downs Gaming. And there are plenty more discounts in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

I then checked out the sweepstakes and, since my granddaughter is a USBC member, I was able to enter by answering five simple questions. So, if you are a USBC member with a child or grandchild in a USBC program, here’s your chance to win a thousand bucks.

AL VLIETSTRA PLACES SECOND AT 60-AND-OVER EVENT

Al Vlietstra of Geneseo, a three-time NYS tournament champion, advanced to the finals of the 60-and-over bowlers’ club event on Oct. 15 at AMF Dewey Gardens in Rochester.

Vlietstra, 69, a regular sponsor of the Pin Points column through his masonry business, was the third-high qualifier with a 707 series, and went on to advance to the top three with games of 206 and 232. In the title match, his 187 game placed second to the 204 posted by Rick Jewell of Rochester.

Joe Trigilio of Attica and Fred Gravanda of Batavia also cashed. The next 60-and-over tournament is set for Nov. 26 at Pleasure Lanes in Hilton.

Vlietstra is one of several Genesee Region bowlers signed up to compete in the first NYS Senior Masters scratch singles tournament scheduled for Nov. 4 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

Other local bowlers entered are Paul Spiotta, Jim Pursel and Scott Shields, all of Batavia; Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls, and Ken Ball of Avon.

The NYS Senior Masters features a $1,200 first prize (based on 80 entries). Squad times are 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., with the top 16 advancing to the match play finals. Entry fee is $65.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the NYS USBC website – www.bowlny.com.

OAK ORCHARD TEAM RED-HOT IN GR YOUTH TRAVEL LEAGUE

There’s nothing like home cooking, just ask the Oak Orchard I team in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

Bowling on their home lanes in Albion, team members Matt Baker, Ben Lennox and Paige Snook and Bailee Snook defeated Batavia X Factor, 17-2, to move into first place after two weeks – 2.5 points ahead of Rose Garden I (Bergen).

Baker rolled a 627 series, Lennox had 613 and Paige Snook posted a 247 game and 577 series.

Skylar Laesser of Batavia Strike Force took top honors for the week with 246—676 while teammate Corinne Saluste recorded a 573 series. Samantha Hyde of Le Roy Legion rolled a 541 series.

The league resumes on Nov. 5 at Mount Morris Lanes.

‘BEAT THE CHAMP’ RETURNS TO BATAVIA NEXT MONTH

For the second straight year, Mancuso Bowling Center will host the “Beat the Champ” television show – with qualifiers and roll-off on Nov. 10-12, followed by the taping for broadcast on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) on Dec. 2.

Bowlers will have a chance to compete on TV through qualifiers set for 5 and 7 p.m. Nov. 10; noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Nov. 11, and noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Nov. 12.  The top 24 will advance to the roll-off at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12, with the top nine advancing to the TV show.

Four shows from Mancuso’s will air on Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Last year, Batavians Rich Wagner and Fred Gravanda made it to the TV finals, with each winning a couple matches.

For more information, call Mancuso Bowling Center at 343-1319.  The fee to enter each qualifying round is $30, and bowlers can enter more than once.

To see the local tournament schedule over the coming weeks, scroll down to the Oct. 12 Pin Points column.

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