Althouse & Baker Both Win their 1st Major Title at Leisure

Published on: September 23, 2017 | Categories: Headliners, Winners Gallery

The PJBT continued its 18th season with a trip to Leisure Lanes for our 2nd Major of the Year.  On this day, we had 55 competitors competing for extra payout scholarships in a major.  We had 27 in Scratch and 28 in Handicap.  They were bowling on a newly created short pattern for Leisure by our friends at Kegel.  Format for Major #2 was 6 games qualifying, top 40% bowled 3 games of match play.  After 9 games, the top 6 bowlers advanced to our major final of 2 shootouts and final stepladder.

Both of our winners this week earned their 3rd career title but 1st MAJOR title.

In Scratch, Daniel Althouse of Womelsdorf, PA, brought home the glass bowling pin.  He started qualifying off fast, opening with a 277 game on the fresh.  From there, he maintained his score with games of 217, 210, 174, 201,  and 174.  He stood at +53 after 6 games and was seeded 4th out of 12 bowlers advancing to match play.  He trailed tournament leader Ben Rynes by over 120 pins.  The first cut for 12th place was -59.  In Match Play, Althouse went 3-0 with games of 230, 182, and 228.  This propelled Althouse to +183 after 9 and was the #3 seed of 6 entering the finals.  Althouse entered the finals in Shootout #2 where he took on #2 seed Ben Rynes, who had lost his lead to Ryan Graham.  The shootout was Althouse, Rynes, and Ryan Mitskavich…winner of Shootout 1.  Althouse won the shootout with a score of 201.  Rynes shot 177 and Mitskavich 171.  This advanced Althouse into the title match vs Ryan Graham.  The title match was a struggle on the fairly fresh oil pattern and gold pins for the finals.  Some late strikes for Althouse locked up the match and the title.  Althouse beat Graham 205-168 to take home the title and $300 scholarship.

In Handicap, MariBeth Baker got her 2nd title of the year…..1st MAJOR.  Baker entered the event with 171 average and 26 pins handicap.  Her games during qualifying was 202, 142, 169, 138, 205, and 183.  She stood at -5 after qualifying and was in 3rd place.  She only trailed tournament leader Morgan Gitlitz by 7 pins.  1st Round cut for 12th place was -91.  Baker went 2-1 in match play with games of 134, 154, and 194.  She lost some ground during match play but was able to squeak her way into the finals as the #6 seed of 6.  In the finals, she made an amazing run.  She won her first shootout over Jacob Dent and Bree Binkowski 195-191-153.  In the 2nd shootout, she took down Desmond Brown and Parker Laubach 216-199-188.  This advanced her to the title match vs Morgan Gitlitz.  Gitlitz had maintained the lead of the event most of the day.   In the title match, Gitlitz struggled and Baker took advantage.  Baker defeated Gitlitz in the title match 180-153.  Baker won the $300 top scholarship prize for her win.

Congrats also to Morgan Gitlitz and Jennifer Fitts who won the girls scratch qualifying round scholarship bonuses.  Gitlitz, despite being in Handicap….bowled the highest scratch block in qualifying of any female!!

Next week:  PJBT rolls into Strike Zone Alleys in Pottsville PA for a regular season singles event.   Sunday Sept 24 at 10:30am on a Recreational Pattern.