Dave Frascatore is back.
Once one of the top scratch bowlers in the Capital Region, the 45-year-old Amsterdam native stepped away from tournament competition to start a family nearly 10 years ago, and didn’t return until earlier this season.
Sunday, he led wire-to-wire to dominate the field and win the Western Diner Northern Bowlers Association Clifton Park Open by nearly 100 pins at Spare Time Clifton Park.
Frascatore opened with a 258 to grab the early lead, and he never looked back. He eventually finished with a five-game total of 1,166 pins to beat Schenectady’s Nick Galusha by 93 pins. Frascatore earned a check for $800, while Galusha took home $400.
Rounding out the top five were Mike Drexel of Delanson (1,042, $235), Ron Gardner of Troy (1,036, $170) and Jeff Young of Delmar (1,033, $130).
Frascatore’s experience helped him gain an edge on an extremely challenging lane condition that featured an out-of-bounds area on the outside, and drier back ends in the middle.
“I practiced throwing the ball with a hook near the center of the lane, but I was getting an over-
under reaction. I decided to try to play the gutter shot. I grew up playing the gutter shot, and I’m pretty good at it if the shot is there. These days, there aren’t a lot of guys who play out there,” he said.
“In the first game, I found a good shot out at the gutter. I had a good look during the next two games, as well, and I kind of loosened up. During the fourth game, I was getting a little later ball reaction, and I pulled some shots. I gutted it out for a 220 game, but in the fifth game, down at the far end of the house, I had to move seven boards left. It was a completely different reaction, and I just tried to throw the ball harder down the track.”
Frascatore spent 10 years at Iroquois Lanes in Canajoharie, and was also the proprietor there for five years.
He eventually sold the lanes and started a family with his wife, Bonnie. His son Jayson, 11, was scheduled to compete in his first junior tournament at Saratoga Strike Zone later Sunday afternoon. His daughter, Juliana, is 7.
“My priority was my family, and something had to give, so I decided to give up tournament bowling,” he said.
“But it’s nice to be back. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to win at Sportsman’s Bowl. I was leading after four games, but two guys bowled well in the last game to pass me. I really wanted to do this one, and finish the job. It feels great.”
Frascatore’s bowling resume is still extremely strong, even though he’s been away from the tournament scene so long. He has 58 career perfect games and 37 800 triples to go along with 12 NBA titles.
The Bob Guild Memorial Championship will be Sunday at Del Lanes.
Cashers — Dave Frascatore 1,166, $800; Nick Galusha 1,073, $400; Mike Drexel 1,042, $235; Ron Gardner 1,036, $170; Jeff Young 1,033, $130; Sonny Dorstek 1,029, $110; Dan Keenan 1,020, $90; Kyle Haines 1,019, $80; Matt Fazzone 1,018, $70; Jason Brown 1,008, $60.
Other top bowlers — Craig Taylor 1,002, Matt Sherman 1,001, Bob Kavanaugh 1,000, R.J. Martinez 982, Ryan Sickler 973, Gino Correra 962, Craig Smith 961, Rich Strath 954, Bob Smith 950, Joe Mazuryk 950, Dustin Paupst 950, Mark James 940, Clay Reiniger Jr. 940, John Pulver 937, Nunzi Manuli 932, Bob Faragon 927, Jim Patricelli 924, Russ Hunter 919, Bob Martinez 918, Matt Barkman 909, Dave Bingham 902, Ken Stroud 894, Craig Shoonmaker 894, Jeff Voght 887, T.R. Milette 886, Robert Leavitt 879, Steve Wagoner 877, Iggy Acevedo 871, Tom Bortle 869, John Drexel 868.