The bowling season is coming to a close and you are about to read possibly the most fascinating and bizarre column of the year.
Throwing an older Ebonite bowling ball drilled for a right-hander that he got off the rack at Eastway Lanes in Erie roughly three months ago, left-handed Brandon Wachob rolled his 23rd career 300 game and second of the season in the Monday Invitational League at Plaza Lanes.
Did you catch all that? A 300 game …
• House ball.
• An older ball.
• Drilled for a right-hander (ball not re-plugged or re-drilled).
Not a one-night story, either.
Wachob has been crushing the Plaza Lanes pins for the past three months with his new go-to weapon — throwing five consecutive 700’s in the Monday Night Invitational League and several other high 7’s in the Commercial League, Mixed Nuts League and Plaza Men’s League.
Plaza Lanes co-proprietor Kurt Baird shakes his head in astonishment over Wachob’s uncanny success with a ball not originally drilled for him.
“The ball has been amazing for Brandon,” he said. “Despite being drilled for a right-hander, it has a great forward roll for him. It’s definitely a unique accomplishment.”
Wachob is lovin’ every minute of it.
After throwing his ninth straight strike, Wachob got charged up: “I was like, hey, I got a chance,” he said, who finished with a 718 series.
The Ebonite-armed Wachob is having a season worth bragging about. His averages speak volumes: 225 in Plaza Men’s League, 221 in Monday Invitational League, 220 in Commercial League and 215 in Mixed Nuts League.
Baird just marvels at the left-handed gunslinger’s game.
“Brandon has been shooting lights out this year,” he said. “Watching him do it over, and over, and over has been very exciting. He has this nonchalant approach and makes it looks so easy.”
Wachob just proved an older ball — despite not drilled for him — can be just as potent as a new ball.
Scott Grinnell and Jeff Keener still have that bowling fever.
Wrapping up their respective leagues in style, Grinnell and Keener put the finishing touches on their excellent seasons with identical 764 series.
Grinnell — a one-night-a-week bowling machine who averaged 228 this season — fired games of 249, 267 and 248 in the Monday Night Invitational League at Plaza Lanes, while the Lost Lanes’ kingpin Keener tossed 279 and 277 games in the Tuesday Mixed League.
Trystan Rough deserves some love, too. He tossed games of 252, 268 and 235 for a 755 in the Commercial League at Plaza Lanes.
Other 7-up shooters:
Cochranton Lanes — Lefty Jim Frye rolled games of 266, 222 and 232 for a 720 in the Pioneer League … Andrew Barnes and Scott Williams also excelled in the Pioneer League with 712 and 702 totals, respectively.
Lost Lanes — Making up for a slow start to the season, Harry Hanks tossed another late-season 700 with a 740 in the Friday Morning League. His games were 257, 258 and 225 … Dan “Dutchie” Lilly also reached the 700 mark in the Friday Morning League with games of 257 and 268 for a 720 … Cool-hand Joe French, an author of two 300 games, nearly rolled another perfect game as he tossed a 299 in the Sunday Mixed League. According to reports, French left the 10-pin. Great game, Joe!
Plaza Lanes — A pair of 258 games powered Shawn Whitehead to a 721 in the Commercial League … Other 700 rollers: Donnie Graham (707 in Commercial League), Steven King (706 in Commercial League), Billy O’Brien (704 in Commercial League) and Rodrick Baird (703 in Plaza Men’s League).
The women’s top bowler as of late? A no-brainer: Savannah Custard.
Continuing her late-season dominance at both Lost Lanes and Plaza Lanes, the smooth-shooting Custard nearly shot a 700 at the Cambridge Springs establishment and had another 600 at the Smock Highway house.
Finishing with a 256 game, Custard tossed a 688 in the Wednesday Night Ladies League at Lost Lanes. Her other games were 208 and 224. At Plaza Lanes, the right-hander rolled 215 and 207 games for a 616 in the Commercial League.
How about Barb Benak? A few nights after throwing a clutch strike to win the strike pot in scotch doubles action at Cochranton Lanes, the left-hander threw her highest series ever with a 662 in the Thursday Mixed League.
Benak’s games were 202, 254 and 206.
In other women’s action, Natalie Hanks had no problems reaching the 600 mark as she shot four of them at her house, Lost Lanes — 234, 204 and 215 games for a 653 in Tuesday Mixed League, 628 in Cambridge Merchants League, 625 in Sunday Mixed League and 623 in Wednesday Night Ladies League … Throwing 224 and 225 games, Brooke Garvey — who had an outstanding first year in adult league action — tossed a 637 in the Tuesday Night Ladies League at Lakeside Lanes … Opening with a 238 game, Kaya Card closed her first Mixed Nuts League season at Plaza Lanes with a 630.
Who will be Cat’s Tom Young Bowler of the Year? Women’s Bowler of the Year? Rookie of the Year? Cochranton crusher? Young Gun of the Year? Fab Five teams? Top 10 accomplishments?
You will find out in next week’s column — the finale for the 2020-21 season.
A teaser: You will be surprised with a couple selections.
Your wheels are spinning …