Philadelphia Hitmen, Dallas Strikers Win As L.L.Bean PBA League Competition Gets Underway in Maine

by Bill Vint April 23, 2017 12:13

PORTLAND, Maine – The underdog Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen and the defending champion Shipyard Dallas Strikers got the fifth edition of the L.L.Bean PBA League Elias Cup competition off to a roaring start with sudden-death victories in front of a sold-out crowd at Bayside Bowl.

The first two best-of-two-game quarterfinal rounds matches aired Sunday on ESPN.

The Philadelphia Hitmen, after finishing last in the eight-game league a year earlier and qualifying eighth in the seeding competition two days earlier at Bayside Bowl, were on the brink of another disappointment in Portland when the top-seeded GEICO NYC WTT KingPins won the opening Baker format game, 248-238, thanks to a closing string of six strikes including three in the 10th frame by anchor bowler Marshall Kent.

The Hitmen forced the one-ball sudden-death roll-off by staging their own five-strike rally in the second game, winning a 227-223 battle when anchor bowler Tom Smallwood struck on his first shot in the 10th frame.

In the roll-off, Philadelphia’s Dom Barrett matched KingPins’ leader Pete Weber’s strike. On the second try, New York City’s John Szczerbinski left a 10 pin that a rebounding “messenger” pin failed to topple. Tom Smallwood ended the drama when his “messenger” connected, tipping over the 10 pin for a strike and the victory.

“It’s been a rough couple of years for us,” Philadelphia manager Jason Couch said. “We’ve been on the losing end despite bowling the two highest scores other than the people we bowled against. I told our guys when we got here, we haven’t had the greatest luck but when they get on the approach, I wanted them to be committed and just go do it. That was my speech of the day.

“Tom (Smallwood) bowled phenomenal, but our whole team bowled well. Tom just looked comfortable on the lanes, so I moved him to anchor,” Couch added. “I don’t know who we bowl next and I don’t care because my guys are really committed and I feel good about our chances.”

Smallwood embraced the opportunity to throw the sudden-death shot.

“I had a great ball reaction,” he said. “I could hit the pocket basically from everywhere. In the end, my messenger delivered, John’s didn’t.”

Dallas jumped in front in the second quarterfinal match, tripping the Lee Auto Malls L.A. X team, 223-215, when L.A. X anchor Jason Belmonte left a 2 pin on his second shot in the 10th frame after striking on his first shot. L.A. X was almost perfect in the second game with Martin Larsen, Jakob Butturff, Osku Palermaa, Stuart Williams and Belmonte throwing 11 strikes, just missing 300 when the Australian two-hander left a 10 pin on his final shot.

In their sudden-death duel, the Strikers insisted reluctant player-manager Norm Duke throw their first shot, and the PBA Hall of Famer struck. Belmonte then stunned the Portland crowd when he left a 4 pin.

Dallas_Duke.Norm_2017PBA_1(8)“That was exciting, nerve-wracking, what sports is all about,” Duke said, “especially when you’ve got the team behind you. They know if you falter, they falter. (PBA players) don’t get a lot of that and when we do, it’s thrilling. We’re used to being individuals.

“I’m sure golfers would understand, but Jack Nicklaus would tell you the Ryder Cup is a different feeling.

This (PBA League) is building,” Duke continued. “Don’t think for a minute it doesn’t mean anything to these guys. If it didn’t mean anything, you wouldn’t see the level of fear or the level of confidence in two players standing right next to each other.”

Duke said he didn’t want to be the guy throwing the sudden-death shot, “but my team came to me and said it was either Rhino (Page, a left-hander) or me because we had the best chance of throwing a strike. They thought my ball was going through the pins better and they were right. They put it all on me. I was scared of it, to be honest, but we all know that’s why we’re here and every one of us would have thrown that shot.”

Duke also said winning the Elias Cup in 2016 “was one of the highlights of my entire career. It wasn’t because I was player-manager; it was because there wasn’t a match where we weren’t down 40 pins and had to come back, just like today. And then we bowled that 300 (en route to winning the Elias Cup). That’s why it meant so much. Now we’re in the top four, and I like our chances.”

The final two quarterfinal round matches, airing next Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT, will send the MaineQuarterly.com Brooklyn Styles against the Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters in the first match, and the Barbasol Motown Muscle against the hometown-favorite L.L.Bean Portland Lumberjacks in the fourth quarterfinal round contest.

The ESPN telecast will be simultaneously streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

L.L.BEAN PBA LEAGUE

Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (aired Sunday on ESPN)

Quarterfinal Round Results (best-of-two-game Baker format)

Match One: Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (Ronnie Russell, Dave Wodka, Chris Loschetter, Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood) def. GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (Danielle McEwan, Sam Cooley, John Szczerbinski, Pete Weber, Marshall Kent), 238-248, 227-223, 10-10, 10-9 in one-ball sudden-death roll-off.

Match Two: Shipyard Dallas Strikers (Bill O’Neill, Norm Duke, B.J. Moore III, Rhino Page, Tommy Jones) def. Lee Auto Malls L.A. X (Martin Larsen, Jakob Butturff, Osku Palermaa, Stuart Williams, Jason Belmonte), 223-215, 217-299, 10-9 in one-ball sudden-death roll-off.

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Sunday on ESPN: Maine’s Energetic Fans Welcome Opening Round of L.L.Bean PBA League Competition

by Bill Vint April 20, 2017 10:38

PORTLAND, Maine – The most energetic fans in bowling will provide the background as L.L.Bean PBA League competition returns to ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern with a pair of quarterfinal matches involving the inaugural Elias Cup champion GEICO New York City WTT KingPins facing the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen and the Lee Auto Malls L.A.X challenging the defending champion Shipyard Dallas Strikers.

The PBA League returns to an expanded Bayside Bowl in Portland for third third consecutive year, this time under the umbrella sponsorship of one of Maine’s most famous brands, L.L.Bean.

In Sunday’s opening match, the top-seeded GEICO New York City WTT KingPins, led by PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber and his supporting cast of Marshall Kent, John Szczerbinski, Danielle McEwan and Sam Cooley will meet the No. 8-seeded Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (Dom Barrett; Tom Smallwood; Chris Loschetter, Ronnie Russell, Dave Wodka) in a best-of-two-game Baker format contest.

In PBA League play, the best-of-two-game Baker matches are decided by a dramatic one-ball sudden-death roll-off if the teams split their two games.

The second quarterfinal match will feature the No. 4-seeded defending champion Dallas Strikers, led by player-manager Norm Duke and featuring 2016 Mark Roth MVP Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page and B.J. Moore. The Strikers will need to eliminate the No. 5 L.A. X squad led by Australia’s Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Osku Palermaa and newcomer Jakob Butturff.

The winning teams will advance to the semifinal round, where they will meet each other in an ESPN-televised match that will air on Sunday, May 7, at 1 p.m. EDT. The Elias Cup finals will air on Sunday, May 14, at 1 p.m. All ESPN telecasts also will be streamed simultaneously on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

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GEICO NYC WTT KingPins Earn No. 1 Seed for Saturday’s L.L. Bean PBA League Quarterfinals

by Bill Vint April 13, 2017 11:48

PORTLAND, Maine – The GEICO New York City WTT KingPins, winners of the inaugural PBA League Elias Cup championship in 2013, earned the No. 1 seed for this weekend’s L.L. Bean PBA League finals at Bayside Bowl, averaging 240.63 to pace the eight teams of Professional Bowlers Association stars who bowled for seeding positions during an eight-game qualifying round at Bayside Bowl Thursday.

The KingPins, led by PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber and including returning team members Marshall Kent and John Szczerbinski along with newcomers Danielle McEwan and Sam Cooley, led the qualifying round by 35 pins over the Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters, the only team that has won the Elias Cup twice.

The KingPins, as the No. 1 team, will meet the No. 8 Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen in their opening match of the single-elimination bracket competition that begins Saturday. PBA League competition will involve best-of-two-game Baker format matches in which team play requires each of the five players to bowl two frames to complete a game. In the best-of-two-game competition, if a match ends in a tie, one player from each team will throw one shot in a sudden-death roll-off until the outcome is decided.

“I don’t think qualifying first means much other than it was a good opportunity to see how we meshed with our new players (McEwan and Cooley),” KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard said. “Danielle is really solid in the leadoff position and Sam just fit right in. So we’re ready to kick butt and take names.”

The quarterfinal rounds will be contested at noon and 3 p.m. ET Saturday. Saturday’s winners advance to the semifinal round matches at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by the Elias Cup championship match at 7 p.m. The final match will involve singles, doubles and trios matches worth one point each, and a five-player team contest worth three points. If the match is tied, it will be settled by a one-ball sudden-death roll-off. All PBA League matches will be recorded for delayed telecast on ESPN, but also will be live-streamed on ESPN3/WatchESPN as they happen.

Sunday’s PBA League matches will follow the MaineQuarterly.com Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals that will air live on ESPN at 1 p.m.

Past PBA League Elias Cup winners include the GEICO NYC WTT KingPins in 2013, the Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom Splitters in 2014 and 2015, and the GoBowling.com Dallas Strikers in 2016. Past Mark Roth Most Valuable Player Award winners were Chris Barnes (2014), Dick Allen (2015) and Tommy Jones (2016). The award wasn’t presented in 2013.

MAINEQUARTERLY.COM MARK ROTH/MARSHALL HOLMAN PBA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP AND L.L. BEAN PBA LEAGUE ELIAS CUP SCHEDULE
Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, April 13

L.L. Bean PBA League Qualifying Results (after 8 games; finishing position determines the team’s seeding for the PBA League finals):
1, GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard; Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, John Szczerbinski, Danielle McEwan, Sam Cooley), 1,925.
2, Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker; Chris Barnes, Tom Daugherty, Jesper Svensson, Shawn Maldonado, DJ Archer), 1,890.
3, L.L. Bean Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack; Wes Malott, Ryan Ciminelli, Liz Johnson, Kyle Troup, Bryon Smith), 1,877.
4, Shipyard Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke; Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, BJ Moore), 1,872.
5, Lee Auto Malls L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain; Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Osku Palermaa, Jakob Butturff), 1,837.
6, Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.; EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Josh Blanchard, Francois Lavoie, Dick Allen), 1,814.
7, MaineQuarterly.com Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia; Sean Rash, Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Jason Sterner, Jon Van Hees), 1,808.
8, Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch; Dom Barrett; Tom Smallwood; Chris Loschetter, Ronnie Russell, Dave Wodka), 1,781.

SATURDAY, APRIL 15 (ESPN PBA League Quarterfinals)
9 a.m. – L.L. Bean/Shipyard Brewing Tailgate Party
Noon – L.L. Bean PBA League Quarterfinals (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN;; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. ET)
    Match One: GEICO NYC WTT KingPins vs. Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen.
    Match Two: Lee Auto Malls L.A. X vs. Shipyard Dallas Strikers.
3:30 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Quarterfinals (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 30 at 1 p.m. ET)
    Match Three: Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. MaineQuarterly.com Brooklyn Styles.
Match Four: Barbasol Motown Muscle vs. L.L. Bean Portland Lumberjacks.
                                                                                                          
SUNDAY, APRIL 16 (ESPN Doubles Finals, PBA League Semifinals and Finals)
1 p.m. – MaineQuarterly.com Roth/Holman Doubles stepladder finals, live on ESPN
    Match One: Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, vs. DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas.
    Match Two: Match One winner vs. Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa./Jason Belmonte, Australia.
    Semifinal Match: Match Two winner vs. EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind./Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.
Championship: Semifinal Match winner vs. Jesper Svensson, Sweden/Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.

4:30 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Semifinals (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN; ESPN telecast Sunday, May 7 at 1 p.m. ET)
    Semifinal Match One: Winner Match One vs. Winner Match Two.
    Semifinal Match Two: Winner Match Three vs. Winner Match Four.
7 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Elias Cup finals (live on ESPN3/WatchESPN; ESPN telecast Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m. ET)

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PBA Spare Shots: ESPN3.com, WatchESPN App to Carry PBA League Shows ‘Live’ on April 15-16

by Bill Vint April 7, 2017 12:55

The PBA will again take advantage of today’s digital technology, giving fans the opportunity to watch the entire L.L. Bean PBA League telecasts via live video streaming on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app on Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16, from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup championship rounds all will be live streamed as they are being recorded for delayed broadcast on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays at 1 p.m. ET, beginning April 23. PBA introduced the ESPN3/WatchESPN live streaming feature for die-hard fans during the GEICO World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno last December.

The addition of live streaming, which means people can easily watch PBA telecasts on mobile devices, laptop computer – even big-screen television with streaming devices that transfer signals – means that 15 of the 17 telecasts ESPN and PBA have produced in the past year have been available live. Only the USA vs. The World and CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational have aired exclusively on a delayed basis.

Combined with PBA’s Xtra Frame Tour series, fans will have access to 25 events live via digital outlets this year.

PBA STARS TO REPRESENT U.S. IN BIDS FOR WORLD GAMES GOLD

PBA veteran Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., an 18-time PBA Tour champion and a 13-time member of Team USA, and 23-year-old first-year Team USA member Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., will represent the United States in the 2017 World Games bowling competition July 21-24 in Wroclaw, Poland, along with PBA Tour champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., and PBA member Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., who is a member of the L.L. Bean PBA League GEICO New York City WTT KingPins.

The World Games are held every four years for 25 sports that are not included in the Olympic Games. Competition will include women's singles on July 21, men's singles on July 22, women's doubles on July 23 and men's doubles on July 24.

Kulick, who made bowling history when she won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, returns to the World Games where she and PBA champion Mike Fagan, her mixed doubles partner, became the first American players to win bowling gold medals in the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.

DATES FOR PBA-PWBA WOMEN’S REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SET

The PBA will continue to provide opportunities for women bowlers by hosting a series of PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional Championship tournaments during the 2017 season, beginning with this weekend’s West Region Women’s Championship at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.

Other scheduled events include the PBA-PWBA Northwest Women’s Championship July 21-23 at Secoma Lanes in Federal Way, Wash.; the East Region championship July 23 at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park, N.J.; the Southwest Region championship Aug. 18-20 at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas; the South Championship Sept. 8-10 at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Midwest Championship Sept. 9-10 at Cherry Lanes in Diamond Jo Casino, Dubuque, Iowa, and the Central Championship Oct. 7-8 at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Mich.

For tournament details, visit pba.com and click on the “schedules” link.

JANAY HAGGERTY NAMED PBA VICE PRESIDENT-MARKETING

Haggerty.Janay_2012WSOBJanay Haggerty, who has been the PBA’s behind-the-scenes marketing services and event planning leader for the majority of her 14 years with the organization, has been promoted to PBA Vice President–Marketing, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark has announced.

Haggerty joined the PBA in 2003 and “has performed admirably in all facets she’s been tasked with in the organization, including her most recent role as Director of Events and Community Relations,” Clark said. In her new position, she will implement the PBA’s marketing strategies and coordinate with other departments and outside partners. She will oversee marketing materials and planning, pba.com, event staging and fan experience, public relations, social media, email communications, pba.com, community events, player communications and licensing initiatives.

THIS WEEK: “PICK THE STORM BALL” FOR PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME

Concrete Software’s “pick the ball” survey for PBA Bowling Challenge mobile game continues this week with players invited to select a new Storm ball from among three options provided weekly for each PBA-participating brand.

Based on fan voting (click here: http://bit.ly/Storm_17 to cast your vote), the “winning” Storm ball will be available for play on April 21.

A code to purchase the ball for 50% off (the code will be available on PBA’s and the specific companies’ social media pages) will be posted. Each company also will have a flashback weekend where all its previous balls will be available for that weekend only.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: LAVOIE PERFECT IN SOUTHWEST VICTORY

Reigning PBA Rookie of the Year Francois Lavoie, who rolled the only nationally-televised 300 game in U.S. Open history on his way to the 2016 title, did it again Sunday at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., defeating collegiate amateur Wesley Low Jr. of Palmdale, Calif., 300-216, to win the sixth annual PBA FireLake Grand Casino Resort Southwest Open presented by MOTIV.

Lavoie, who had advanced to the championship round in his last two Southwest region events only to fall short of victory when his opponents bowled games of 279 and 266, left no opportunity for loss by tossing the event’s second 300 game. After qualifying third and receiving byes to advance to the Round of 8, the Canadian native eliminated Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., 2-0, in a best-of-three-game match and then edged PBA Southwest Region Hall of Famer Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, 222-201, in the semifinal round.

Low, a two-handed left-hander who is bowling for Wichita State University, qualified ninth and had a longer road to the final. In his opening match, he defeated Joe Findling of Mesquite, Texas, 2-1;, PBA rookie and Team USA member AJ Chapman of Manchester, Iowa, 2-0, and Mike Bailey of Irving, Texas, 258-180, to advance to the title match.

The pro-am portion of the event on Friday included a fundraiser for the Shawnee area Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. FireLake General Manager Chris Skillings announced more than $20,000 was raised for that cause.

Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore. posted a 4-4 match play record and a 16-game total of 3,786 pins Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno to win his 47th career PBA Regional title in the PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Spring Classic presented by Storm.

Warren, who earned $2,000, defeated Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz., by 78 pins to close to within one title of the record 48 standard PBA Regional titles, held by PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber. Butturff, coming off a record nine PBA Regional titles performance in 2016, had a 6-2 match play record and 3,708 pins for his 16 games.

In the companion PBA50 Open, Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, Calif., went 4-4 and knocked down 3,659 total pins defeating Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix by four pins to earn a $1,500 prize, and kicking of the weekend, Casey Knutson of Sparks, Nev., defeated Adam Wilson of Reno, 203-164, to win Friday’s PBA Sands Regency Spring Challenge presented by Storm. The Challenge was open to players who had never won a PBA title.

● Puerto Rico national bowling team member Cristian Azcona of Lake Wales, Fla. defeated top qualifier Anthony DeStasio of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 248-210 to win his first PBA South Regional title Sunday in the PBA Brighton Construction South Open at Myrtle Beach Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Azcona, a 22-year-old PBA rookie, was nearly flawless in defeating Jeremy Mooney of West Palm Beach, Fla., 299-223, in the first stepladder match. He then eliminated Mike Byers of Charleston, S.C., 258-226, to advance to the title match where he earned $2,500 for his first win in PBA competition.

Kelly Jordon of Marion, Ohio defeated Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill., 196-181, to win the PBA Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind., Sunday for his second career PBA Regional title and a $2,000 first prize.

Jordon topped reigning Central Region Rookie of the Year Graham Fach of Guelph, Ontario, 227-224, while Prather downed Jesse Buss of Belvidere, Ill., 277-207, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

● Amateur Tom Adcock of Decatur, Ill., defeated Lennie Boresch of Kenosha, Wis., 222-180, to win the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open at Showtime Lanes in Virden, Ill., Sunday. The win was Adcock’s third in PBA competition. He earned $1,500 but he doesn’t get credit for the title because he is an amateur.

Adcock defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 2-1 in the best-of-three-game semifinal round while Boresch edged Scott Merritt of Iowa City, Iowa, 2-0, in the other match to set up the championship contest.

● April’s PBA Regional schedule gets underway this weekend with the PBA50 AMF Fredericksburg (Va.) South Open presented by Radical, followed by the PBA60 Blue Ridge Properties/Kingsport CVB Super Senior Open presented by Storm Monday through Wednesday at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn. This weekend also includes of the Pacific Coast’s premier events, the PBA, PBA50 and PBA-PWBA Earl Anthony West/Northwest Classic events at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl in Dublin, Calif.

● The April 14-16 PBA Regional calendar includes the Bowlers Discount Eastern Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone-Normandy in Ellicott City, Md., and the Copperfield Bowl Southwest Challenge presented by Global 900 for non-champions in Houston, Texas.

● The April 21-23 PBA Regional schedule features the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Track at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio, and the Jac’s Lanes Valdosta South Open in Valdosta, Ga. April 23 also kicks of the PBA West Region’s annual tripleheader in Hawaii, including the Hawaii West/Northwest Open presented by Ebonite at Schofield AFB (April 23), the Fort Shafter West/Northwest Hawaii Open in Honolulu (April 26) and the Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open presented by Ebonite (April 28-30).

● April’s PBA Regional competition concludes with the PBA50 Cherokee Lanes South Open presented by Roto Grip in Canton, Ga., April 27-29, and the Al Jones Memorial presented by Storm at Rockaway Lanes in Rockaway, N.J., April 28-30.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.

QUICK NOTES

● Late additions to the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship roster next week in Portland, Maine, include Terry Robinson and Charlie Mitchell, Gray, Maine, while James Goulding, Lewiston, Maine, and Jimmy Clark, Hermon, N.H., will replace Steve Pavlinko Sr. and Jr., who withdrew.

● Robert Alman of Murrysville, Pa., is the March winner of a $200 HotelPlanner.com certificate, redeemable for future lodging expenses, compliments of PBA’s official travel partner. The monthly sweepstakes is open to anyone who books a hotel through the HotelPlanner.com link on pba.com. Those who book through HotelPlanner.com are automatically entered.

● Roman Fowler of Cookeville, Tenn., will receive a new high-performance Brunswick ball, Charles Fainberg of Pacifica, Calif., has won a new high-performance MOTIV ball, and Gunther Grinde of Prior Lake, Minn., wins a new DV8 ball as March sweepstakes prizes for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

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L.L. Bean PBA League Returns to Portland for Bigger, Better, Louder Week of Competition

by Bill Vint April 5, 2017 11:05

PORTLAND, Maine - The Professional Bowlers Association will invade Portland April 9-16 for a third consecutive year of competition that promises to be bigger, better and louder than ever.

Significant changes for 2017 include:

● An expanded Bayside Bowl complex, with eight new lanes and a mezzanine overlooking the new lanes where five ESPN television shows will be contested, meaning there will be room for twice as many enthusiastic, energetic and boisterous Maine bowling fans compared to previous years.

● New corporate partners: world-famous Maine-based retailer L.L. Bean will sponsor the 2017 L.L. Bean PBA League Elias Cup competition, and the Maine Office of Tourism’s MaineQuarterly.com will sponsor the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

● A bigger field of PBA players, thanks to the expansion of Bayside Bowl which allows it to now host the field of 32 teams in the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship.

● In addition to live ESPN coverage of the Roth/Holman Doubles Championship on Sunday, April 16, PBA fans will be able to watch all rounds of the PBA League finals via live streaming on the ESPN3/WatchESPN apps.

● A new Xtra Frame “King of Bowling” Pay Per View event: the match will pit Wes Malott, who won the last King of Bowling match contested in 2009, against 2016 PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett and three-time Player of the Year Jason Belmonte.

“Our goal is to make this event bigger and better every year,” said Justin Alfond, co-owner of Bayside Bowl. “With L.L. Bean as the title sponsor of the PBA League Elias Cup, our partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism, we have great partners to showcase the best of Maine, and we’re planning to add something new every year to build on the excitement.”

“We can’t wait for the PBA to come back,” said Charlie Mitchell, Bayside Bowl’s managing partner. “We’re welcoming the world’s best bowlers, and we already have the most passionate fans in the sport along with incredible sponsors who realize what a big deal this event is for our state.”

Maine may rank as one of the nation’s smallest states in terms of bowling population, but those who love the sport more than make up for their modest population with a level of enthusiasm that towers over even the most populous of bowling states.

“The electric atmosphere and enthusiasm at Bayside Bowl breathed new life into the PBA League and has made it the event most looked-forward to of the year for our players,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “Moving into the new building will take things to an even higher level of intensity and excitement.

“Bayside Bowl fans are redefining the fans’ role in the PBA. They are a huge part of our commitment to keep coming back to Portland, this year and for the foreseeable future.”

The combined “Maine event” will take place from April 9-16, beginning with qualifying rounds for the MaineQuarterly.com Roth/Holman Doubles Championship leading into the live stepladder finals on ESPN on April 16 at 1 p.m. ET. The doubles field includes defending champions Anthony Simonsen and Connor Pickford; 2014 and ’15 champs Wes Malott and Norm Duke; PBA Hall of Famers, a slew of PBA Tour title winners, several of the PBA’s most talented future stars, international champions, the all-female team of Liz Johnson and Danielle McEwan and more.

PBA fans will be able to watch the preliminary doubles competition on Xtra Frame, PBA’s subscription-based live streaming bowling channel, April 10, 11 and 12, or track real time releases on pba.com’s Live Scoring feature. For Xtra Frame subscription information and broadcast times, visit pba.com or xtraframe.tv.

Bayside Bowl also will host a new Xtra Frame Pay-Per-View event, called the “King of Bowling,” that will be an invitational contest between Wes Malott, who won the last King of Bowling made-for-television special event held in 2009, vs. Tackett and Belmonte, the two more recent PBA Players of the Year and the winners of the last four PBA major championships will bowl a simultaneous three-game match with the winner advancing in a new series of XF pay-per-view events. Coverage of the special event, available exclusively on Xtra Frame for a one-time fee of $2.99 (also applies to current XF subscribers), will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 13.

The L.L. Bean PBA League competition begins with a qualifying round for all teams on April 13 to determine seeding positions for the ESPN-televised Baker format elimination rounds. The April 13 qualifying round will be streamed live on Xtra Frame. The Elias Cup competition will be contested on April 15 and 16, and will air on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays at 1 p.m. ET following the doubles telecast:  April 23 and 30, and May 7 and May 14.

While the PBA League finals are being taped for delayed telecast on ESPN, fans will be able to watch them in real time on the ESPN3 and WatchESPN live-streaming app. All ESPN telecasts also will simultaneously streamed on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

For detailed information about L.L. Bean PBA League teams and players, visit https://www.pba.com/bowlers/theleague. For L.L. Bean supporting materials, visit: http://bit.ly/2koMDYz.

MAINEQUARTERLY.COM MARK ROTH/MARSHALL HOLMAN PBA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP AND L.L. BEAN PBA LEAGUE ELIAS CUP SCHEDULE
Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, April 9-16

Sunday, April 9
Noon and 3 p.m. – Roth/Holman Doubles practice sessions
6 p.m. – Full Plates, Full Potential Strike Out Child Hunger pro-am

Monday, April 10
10 a.m. – Roth/Holman Doubles A Squad, 6 individual (12 team) qualifying games               
4 p.m. – Roth/Holman Doubles B Squad, 6 individual (12 team) qualifying games               
                                                                                                            
Tuesday, April 11
10 a.m. – Roth/Holman Doubles A Squad, 6 individual (12 team) qualifying games               
4 p.m. – Roth/Holman Doubles B Squad, 6 individual (12 team) qualifying games
   Top 8 teams based on combined 24-game team totals advance
                                                                                                            
Wednesday, April 12
10 a.m. – Top 8 teams, 8 Baker format (alternate frame) games
3 p.m. – Top 8 teams, 8 Baker format (alternate frame) games
   Top 4 teams after 24 team and 16 Baker format games advance to live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday, April 16
7 p.m. – Xtra Frame “King of Bowling”  pay-per-view match (Wes Malott, EJ Tackett, Jason Belmonte: three-game total pinfall, winner-take-all match)
                                                                                                            
L.L. BEAN PBA LEAGUE QUALIFYING
Thursday, April 13
Noon – 8 games Baker format qualifying (to determine seeding positions for television)
7 p.m. – Bayside Bowl pro-am
                                                                                                          
Friday, April 14
Day off

Saturday, April 15 (ESPN PBA League Quarterfinals)
9 a.m. – L.L. Bean/Shipyard Brewing Tailgate Party
Noon – L.L. Bean PBA League Quarterfinals 1 & 2 (to air on ESPN on Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. ET)
Team #1 vs. Team #8; Team #5 vs. Team #4                          
3:30 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Quarterfinals 3 & 4 (to air on ESPN on Sunday, April 30 at 1 p.m. ET)
Team #2 vs. Team #7; Team #6 versus Team #3
7 p.m. – L.L Bean Music Show                          
                                                                                                          
Sunday, April 16 (ESPN Doubles finals, PBA League Semifinals and Finals)
1 p.m. – MaineQuarterly.com Roth/Holman Doubles stepladder finals, live on ESPN
4:30 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Semifinals #1 and #2 (to air on ESPN on Sunday, May 7 at 1 p.m. ET)
7:30 p.m. – L.L. Bean PBA League Elias Cup finals (to air on ESPN on Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m. ET)

MAINEQUARTERLY.COM MARK ROTH/MARSHALL HOLMAN PBA DOUBLES ROSTER
1, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio.
2, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston.
3, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland.
4, Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz./Andres Gomez, Colombia.
5, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J./Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla.
6, Andrew Cain, Phoenix/Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz.
7, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla./Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich.
8, John Furey, Freehold, N.J./Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa.
9, w-Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y./w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y.
10, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C./Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas.
11, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas/Sam Cooley, Australia.
12, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas/Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.
13, BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa./Matt O'Grady, Rahway, N.J.
14, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa./Jason Belmonte, Australia.
15, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J./AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill.
16, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla./Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.
17, James Goulding, Lewiston, Maine/Jimmy Clark, Hermon, N.H. 
18, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill./Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
19, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind./Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio.
20, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas/Connor Pickford, Plano, Texas.
21, Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio/Graham Fach, Canada.
22, Jesper Svensson, Sweden/Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.
23, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y./Francois Lavoie, Canada.
24, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind./Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.
25, Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I./Matt McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn.
26, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo./Tim Mack, Indianapolis.
27, Stuart Williams, England/Martin Larsen, Sweden.
28, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla./Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.
29, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio/Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla.
30, Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C./Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C.
31, Joseph Ramsdall III, Skowhegan, Maine/w-n-Sarah Pelletier, Lewiston, Maine.
32, Terry Robinson/Charlie Mitchell, Gray, Maine 
w-denotes woman; n-denotes non-member.

2017 L.L. BEAN PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS
Shipyard Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, B.J. Moore.
GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, John Szczerbinski, Danielle McEwan, Sam Cooley.
Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): E.J. Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Josh Blanchard, Francois Lavoie, Dick Allen.
L.L. Bean Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Ryan Ciminelli, Liz Johnson, Kyle Troup, Bryon Smith.
Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Tom Daugherty, Jesper Svensson, Shawn Maldonado, D.J. Archer.
MaineQuarterly.com Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Jason Sterner, Jon Van Hees.
Lee Auto Malls L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Osku Palermaa, Jakob Butturff.
Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett; Tom Smallwood; Chris Loschetter, Ronnie Russell, Dave Wodka.

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