Wayne Quattrocche of Owings Mills came within inches of topping the world record for a single duckpin game on Jan. 28 in the Friday Night Travel League at Fair Lanes Westview.
He fired his first ball of the game and smashed nine pins into the pit. He picked up the 10-pin, which is always tough for a right-hander, and never looked at another spare break for the next eight frames.
"After the spare in the first frame I had eight strikes in a row," he said. "In the 10th frame I was kind of numb. I really wasn't thinking about breaking the world record but I knew I had a big, big game going."
So big that as he stepped to the line in the last box his score read 200 in the seventh with a double in the eighth and ninth frames. A doubleheader in the last frame would have broken the record.
"That last ball just blew by the head pin," Quattrocche said. "I left the 1-2-4 and 10-pin."
He made that split and threw a strike for the count (and the ninth strike of a possible 12). The result: a tremendous 266 game, just 13 pins off the record of 279.
The last two games of the series were a workmanlike 145 and 117 for a 528 set.
Quattrocche bowls in the Friday Travel league and the Wednesday Triples at Middlesex Fair Lanes. He carries a 143 average and has a high set of 543.
His father, Charles "Moose" Quattrocche, introduced him to duckpins at an early age.
Moose Quattrocche ("my family called me Moose because I weighed 15 3/4 pounds when I was born and the name stuck"] is 70 years old and still a force.
Last November he won an Amateur Duckpin Tournament at Middlesex lanes and picked up a check for $900.
The Essex resident has a career high game of 216 and a high set of 523.
Triple the fun
The Triple Crown, consisting of the high average, high set and high game in the same league, always has been difficult to achieve.
Two relative newcomers to tenpins -- Heather Davis and Maria Hutchins -- accomplished it last season.
Both have bowled duckpins and tenpins. Davis still bowls ducks but the similarity ends there. Hutchins knows exactly what her numbers were and Davis isn't really sure.
"My friend, Dolly Mason, was the one who got me started," Hutchins said. "That was three years ago and I fell in love with the game. I tried duckpins, but they're really hard."
The Edgemere resident bowls in a single league, Tuesdays at Fair Lanes Dundalk, and this season carries a 145 average.
Hutchins' Triple Crown figures were a 225 game, a 528 series and a 147 average.
Davis lives in Rosedale and bowls in the Tuesday Essex-Middle River league and the Sunday Mixed at Brunswick Crown lanes in Middle River.
And in the Monday Starlighters, a duckpin league, at Fair Lanes Middlesex, her average is a solid 117.
"I started with duckpins," she said. "About three years ago I began to bowl tenpins."
Throwing a 12-pound Rhino bowling ball, Davis won the Triple Crown in the Tuesday league, but she said, "I don't remember what the numbers were and they don't put the figures on the pin that you receive for doing it."
Her career high game and set are 245 and 618, respectively.
"I just shot that 618," she said. "That was on Jan. 25 in the Tuesday league."