Joe Starace Outlasts Large Scratch Field while Stephen Yuhas V Comes Up with Improbable Win After Making a Split at 222 Dutch

Published on: February 13, 2016 | Categories: Headliners, Winners Gallery

The PJBT continued its 17th season with our 7th Major Event of the Year.  This major is a famous won each year….our exciting Super Bowl Sunday Major Event at 222 Dutch Lanes in Ephrata, PA.  This year’s event did not disappoint.  We had 89 bowlers competing on the challenging WTBA Tokyo Pattern.  The event had 50 Bowlers in Scratch and 39 in Handicap.  The format for this major was 6 Games Qualifying, top 40% of each field bowl 3 additional games of match play….after 9 Games, the top 6 bowlers in each division advance to our NFL Bracket Playoff Final (tribute to Super Bowl Sunday).  The finals was seeds 1/2 receive a bye.  1 Game match for #3 vs #6, and #4 vs #5.  Winners advanced to bowl seeds 1 & 2.  Winners of those semi-finals bowled each other for the title.

In Scratch, Joe Starace of New Jersey, took home the Major Title.  Joe was near the top of the leaderboard all day. In qualifying, Joe shot big games every other game.  Games 1, 3, and 5 for him were only 171, 183, and 203.  However, Games 2, 4, and 6 were 277, 244, and 246.  After 6 Games, he stood at 1324 or +124.  He was the leader of the tournament.  The top 20 bowlers advanced to match play and 20th place was -37.  In Match Play, Starace slipped out of the lead when he shot games of 208 and 168 with losses.  In the final game, he shot 205 and won his match.  He sat in 5th place entering the finals.  The road to victory would be harder for him but he overcame it and won his matches.  In the finals, Starace first took on #4 seed Alex Glinski.  He won that match 224-170.  He then advanced to bowl #1 seed Dylan Zimmerman.  This match was a classic.  Came down to the 10th frame….where Zimmerman needed to strike out to win.  Zimmerman got the first strike but did not strike on the 2nd shot in the 10th.  Starace defeated Zimmerman 221-211.  In the title match, it was #5 Starace and #3 seed Jason Waltman.  Waltman, similar to Starace, had won his first 2 matches in the final….going the hard way to the finals.  The title match was over early.  Both bowlers were lined up until this match.  Starace remained locked in, stringing strikes together….while Waltman could not get lined up.  The match was over early as Starace defeated Waltman 235-170.  Joe Starace took home the title and the $300 top scholarship prize.  Based on entries in Scratch, we paid out scholarships to the top 8 finishers.

WHAT A STORY IN HANDICAP!  Stephen Yuhas V captured his first PJBT title and Major.  Yuhas was in 4th place after 6 games of qualifying.  He shot 1204 or +4.  The top 16 bowlers in Handicap advanced to match play with cut being -74.  In Match Play, Yuhas….a 117 average bowler….shot games of 99 with win, 106 with a loss, and 158 with a win.   The final position round game boosted Stephen into the 3rd seed position entering the bracket final.  He only trailed tournament leader Drew Jaquith and #2 seed Ashley Sham.  Just like Starace, he had the long road to the title.  His first match was vs #6 seed Kyle Bowersox.  Yuhas defeated Bowersox 180-155 to advance to the semi-final.  This is where the day got interesting.  Yuhas advanced to bowl #2 seed Ashley Sham.  Their match was shot-for-shot.  Yuhas finished the match first and posted a score of 174 with handicap.  Sham needed a mark and count in the 10th frame to win….a mark and 9 pins to be exact.  Sham left a single pin on first shot and made the spare.  She needed 9 pins to win.  She left the ball wide and on lane conditions like this there is clearly an “out-of-bounds.”  She left it wide….only got 6 pins.  Yuhas won the match 174-172.  This advanced Yuhas to the title match vs #1 seed Drew Jaquith.  If you thought that ending was exciting, WAIT UNTIL THIS MATCH!  Jaquith led the match throughout but Yuhas hung in there with a couple of late spares and marks.  It came down to the 10th frame.  Jaquith finished the match first with 154 score.  Yuhas needed a mark and 4 pins to win the match.  For a 117 average bowler a mark is sometimes a challenge.  Yuhas threw his first shot and it went straight thru the head pin and he left a 6-7 split.  Everyone looked at each other saying he has to make this to win or Jaquith wins.  We all felt that based on his age it would be tough for him to convert a spare that is tough for most scratch bowlers.  He left go of the spare ball and I yelled to Josh….OMG…. it’s on line…..he hit the 6 pin lightly and slid it over into the 7 pin and CONVERTED THE 6-7 SPLIT!  The fans went wild as little Stephen Yuhas had just converted a spare most of all of us would miss!  He then needed 4 pins to win.  He threw another shot down the middle and got 7 pins to WIN THE TITLE.  It was a tough luck loss for Jaquith but what an incredible finish and match.  Kudos to both of them for putting on such a competitive match in Handicap.  Yuhas defeated Jaquith 158-154 to win the title the top scholarship prize of $300.

Being it was a major event, our top 2 girls who claim scholarship on this day….Allison Hresko and Alexis Neuer, won bonus scholarships thanks to Shotmakers Pro Shop & Lane Tamers Pro Shop.

No honor scores were bowled on this day so the 300 Pot of $97 carries over to next week.