Frank Virts of Arbutus has a 122 average, so he isn't used to posting huge scores.
But on Oct. 22, in the Friday night Oddballs league at Fair Lanes Arbutus, Virts found the range, throwing a 597 duckpin series.
The first game of the series that night he filled every frame but one with marks. The 193 game that resulted was his career high.
"After that game I knew that there wasn't any way that I could do any better the next game," Virts said.
Wrong. The second game didn't have any open frames. It did have a four-bagger, a triple and a bunch of nine-count spares.
Virts' career high first game lasted about 45 minutes, the time he took to throw a 246 game.
"Everybody, my team and the other teams, were cheering for me," Virts said.
"And I couldn't believe what I'd done. But it was because everyone was keeping me pumped up."
The third and last game of the series, Virts slumped.
His 158 contained three open frames.
The single game of 246 and the three-game set of 597 broke the house records at Arbutus.
Likes high scores
Pat Teague, managing partner for Fair Lanes Arbutus, Pikesville, Southwest and Westview, is happy to see high scores posted at the duckpin centers she oversees.
"I want high scoring conditions at the centers," said Teague, a 10-year pro tour veteran and Finksburg resident. "The bowlers want good scoring conditions and I think that every center should accommodate the bowler."
Teague knows something about high scoring. She averaged 135 on the women's pro tour and had a high single game of 225 and high series of 510. She started bowling in 1962 but now devotes her time to the Fair Lanes centers.
"I just really don't have the time to bowl any more," she said. "But my daughter, Patty [Palmer] is active and carries a 141 average on the pro travel league, and Buddy [her son] averages 141 on the men's pro travel league."
Teague's life has been duckpins, as a bowler and as a manager. Over the course of 30 years some things stand put in her memory.
"In the late '70s at a pro tour stop I needed a 200 game to go on top," she said.
"I shot a 225 and averaged 155 for the eight qualifying games. Then, the next day, I averaged 155 over five games to be top-seeded for the stepladder finals. With just a single game to win I slumped to a 130-something, I just blew it.
"It was in 1971 that I won the Lady Baltimore [tournament]. I can't forget that because exactly 20 years later, in 1991, my daughter Patty won the same tournament."
The Senior Duckpin Pro Am Tournament for bowlers ages 55 and older will be at Fair Lanes Westview at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. It is held in conjunction with the Fair Lanes Ladies Grand Prix and the Fair Lanes Men's Masters.
* The Adult Duckpin Pro Am Tournament will be at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday at Fair Lanes Pikesville and Fair Lanes Westview.