Steve Rockel converted only four spares in his league Monday night.
That's all he had to convert -- the rest of his frames were strikes.
Rockel, 34, a beer distributor from Perry Hall, rolled games of 280, 279 and 268 for a huge 827 set, by far his highest ever.
"I left a four pin in the first game, a four pin in the second game and a four pin and a seven pin in the third game," said Rockel, who used a 15-pound Teal Rhino Pro to shoot the 800 set. "The rest were strikes."
As good as Rockel bowled, he was still a little irritated, thinking he should have gotten a 300 game.
"No Brooklyns," he said. "Everything was in play. . . . I really could have made those two four pins."
Rockel credits his friend, Stan Chaya, the lane maintenance man at Brunswick Crown, with helping him improve his game. A few weeks ago, Rockel bowled his first 300 game -- after 12 years of bowling.
"We've been experimenting with different ball drillings," Rockel said.
Chaya suggested a unique drilling scheme -- drilling a balance hole on the opposite side of the ball from the finger and thumb holes.
Rockel said he and Chaya noticed that the new reactive resin balls, of which the Rhino Pro is one, have very little top weight. By drilling a balance hole in the bottom of the ball, it adds top weight, he explained.
With that drilling scheme, his ball rolls longer down the lane before it hooks to the pocket, allowing him to maintain the slow ball speed he prefers. Throwing the ball slower helps him control his release and hit his target, he said.
"My ball is going 40 to 45 feet down the lane before it breaks," Rockel said. "I've already had people accuse me of using an illegal ball, but it's not."
He's right. Jeff Henry, head of the rules department for the American Bowling Congress, said a bowler can drill a balance hole anywhere on the ball, so long as it does not add more than 3 ounces of top weight to the ball.
/# Rockel has had his ball weighed
several times, and it checks out.
Blizzard storms opposition
Wilson Blizzard Jr., 23, of Hampstead bowled a powerful 184 (including handicap and bonus pins) game in the championship match of the weekly Amateur Duckpin Tour, easily defeating Debbie Ports of Baltimore to win first place and $900.
Ports, who won two matches to get to the championship match, bowled a 127 (including handicap and bonus pins.) She took second place and $450.
Third place and $225 went to Charlie Stewart of Pikesville; fourth to Art Boone of Ellicott City, who earned $150; and John Wooten finished fifth, worth $100.
There were 124 entries in the tournament last weekend at Fair Lanes Perring Parkway.
Brosius wins Freestate
Lee Brosius, bowling in the weekly Freestate Tenpin Tour at Fair Lanes Towson last weekend, rolled games of 259, 247 and 196 for a nice 702 series. With 30 pins handicap, that gave him a 732, good enough for first place and $750.
Brosius, a 197-average bowler from Fort Meade, earned another $60 for bowling the 259 game, the 700 set and for bowling 100 pins over his average.
Mark Cremora won second place and $375 by bowling games of 205, 221 and 230 for a 656 scratch set. With 57 pins handicap, that gave Cremora a 713 total.
Quint Bowles of Columbia won third place and $225 with a 711 set. He bowled games of 189, 211 and 227, and received 84 pins handicap.
If you know an interesting bowler or have a good bowling story to tell, please call me at (410) 494-2944, or write to The Sun, 1300 Bellona Ave., Lutherville, 21093. You also can fax letters or scores to (410) 494-2916. Please enclose a name and phone number for verification.