Apparently, bowling to a 300-300 tie is becoming less and less of a rarity these days. It almost happened twice last week.
Five weeks after a 300-300 tie between Bill Maher and Tyler Adams in the Bill Mastronardi/Striketown Bowl Masters traveling league, two more bowlers in the same league did it again last Monday at Sunset Lanes in Pekin.
Mark Stenger and Will Keiser both opened the night with perfect games against each other in a match between the Plaza Lanes and Linn Lanes teams.
Keiser, bowling for Linn, finished the game first, putting the pressure on Stenger, who still had to throw two more strikes for the tie.
"I was pretty calm," Stenger said. "Before the last shot, my thought was, ‘Don’t embarrass yourself!’ "
Keiser added games of 235 and 230 for a 765 set to beat Stenger, who totaled 728. But Plaza won the match, 33-17, and moved into second place in the second-half standings, 10 points behind leader WingStop.
Then on Thursday at Plaza Lanes, anchor bowlers Don Sweet and Tyler Briggs, who were bowling across the screen from each other on the scoring monitor, almost matched the Masters bowlers.
Sweet struck on his final shot for a 300, while Briggs finished with a 299.
"I finished first, and left a 4-pin," Briggs said. "We both threw it pretty bad in the 11th, but his 12th shot was dead in the pocket."
Briggs finished with a 746 series, while Sweet had a 727.
"I had a horrible start, with a 180-something," said Sweet, who has 47 career treys. "I was trying about four different balls. Then I ran the front seven in the second game for a 249 and then shot 300."
LOTS OF STRIKING: The Masters bowlers totaled six 300 games — which is probably a record for the league — and two 800 series on Monday night at Sunset Lanes.
Besides the treys by Stenger and Keiser, Aramark teammates Garrett Lawson and Bob Ogle also rolled 300s in Game 1. Ryan Driskill then bowled one for Mount Hawley in Game 2, and Rob Johnson added his 15th career trey in Game 3 for T-Shirt House.
Johnson, who rolled another trey on Friday night at Landmark Lanes (his first in that house), opened with games of 278 and 225 for an 803 series. Mike Davis had games of 258, 290 and 257 for an 805 set.
The league bowlers have now rolled 22 perfect games in 18 weeks this season.
DOUBLE TREYS: On Thursday at Sunset, Josh Loy closed out an 830 series with back-to-back 300 games. After an opening 230, he finished the night with 27 straight strikes.
It was the second time he has had back-to-back 300s.
"Fourteen years ago, when I was 16, on lanes 19-20 at Landmark Lanes, I started with the front 27," Loy said. "I had 300, 300, 212 for an 812 series."
Loy has now rolled 14 career 300s and three 800 series. But they were his first 300 games since 2013 and it was his first 800 since 2011.
"This was only the sixth or seventh time I’ve bowled league this year," he said. "Other than that, I haven’t touched a ball."
GREAT START: The Roy's Boys #4 came up 10 pins short of the team title last week in the Peoria River City USBC Association's city tournament. But the bowlers got off to a great start at Landmark Lanes.
The team opened with a 1,093 on games of 299 by Chris Feger, 268 by both Josh Barnwell and Mark Stenger, and 258 by Garrett Lawso. It's the second high four-man team game in the nation this season.
PBA ON TV: The finals of the Professional Bowlers Association Lubbock Sports Open will be on Fox Sports at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Sean Rash of Montgomery will be going for his second straight title as the top seed. Also making the show were Michael Tang, Dick Allen, Kyle Troup, and Rhino Page.
JOHNNY CAMPOS is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.