Balance on both sides of the lanes was the key in the finals of the second annual New Era Senior Tour’s Digger’s Doubles at Uncle Sam Lanes.
One of only two left-handers to make the match play finals, Colonie mailman Rich Strath didn’t have to make many adjustments and teamed up with steady Steve Wagoner of Broadalbin to roll over Joe Mazuryk and Bob “Goose” Faragon, 462-369, in the championship match. Strath and Wagoner split $1,600, while Mazuryk and Faragon took home $400 each in the tournament which was contested under challenging lane conditions. Only one bowler (Andy Smith) cracked the 900 mark all day with a 942.
There were 46 teams entered in the popular event that paired one bowler over 50 years of age with another under 50. There were actually 50 teams originally signed up, but four teams dropped out for various reasons, creating a few pairing problems and long delays. It took more than hour per game to complete the four-game qualifier.
The seeding off the qualifying games held true for the most part as Faragon (867) and Mazuryk (894) finished first with a plus-161, followed by Strath (868) and Wagoner (839) at plus-107.
It appeared that the Mazuryk-Faragon tandem was the favorite, not only because it topped the qualifier, but also because Mazuryk is arguably the best “amateur” bowler under 50 years of age in the Capital Region and Faragon is considered the area’s premier senior.
Maruzyk and Faragon turned back eighth-seeded Barry Brockway and Steve Rock, 397-373, in the quarterfinals and then edged Jim Geiger and Eddie Gum, 447-431, in the semifinals. Wagoner and Strath beat Craig Clemons and Mike Clemons, 445-354, in the quarterfinals and slipped by Jack Scaccia Jr. and Ryan Sickler, 427-409, in the semifinals.
In the championship game, each team started slowly as Faragon and Mazuryk registered a pair of spares while Strath had two spares and Wagoner opened with a split.
But Wagoner fired a five-bagger to grab the momentum, and then Strath caught fire with a triple. They each finished with a 231 to win going away. Although Faragon shot a solid 222, Mazuryk struggled with an uncharacteristic 147 that included four splits.
“I didn’t have to move much at all, maybe one or two boards all day,” said Strath. “We cashed together in this event last year, so it seems we have a pretty good team.”
“I only had to make a few moves here and there, but the lanes definitely got tighter as we moved across the house,” said Wagoner, who is on the Track ball equipment staff.
“We both bowled really well all day. I’d like to thank Marty and Debbie Capullo for sponsoring me, and I’d also like to thank Ron Gardner and all the tournament sponsors. They did a great job.”
Strath echoed Wagoner’s sentiments. “It was a great tournament. It was a long day, but it really paid off for us,” he said.
The Capullos also sponsored Faragon and Mazuryk. Gardner’s construction, Abele Tractors and Strike & Spare Pro Shop were the other primary sponsors of the tournament.
Cashers — Bob Faragon (867)-Joe Mazuryk (894), 1,761; Rich Strath (868)-Steve Wagoner (839), 1707; Jack Scaccia Jr. (833)-Ryan Sickler (870), 1,703; Tony Renaud (820)-Frankie Calca (878), 1,698; Ed Gumm (867)-Jim Geiger (798), 1,665; Bill Carl (823)-Terry Ray (841), 1,664; Craig Clemons (802)-Mike Clemons (846), 1,648; Barry Brockway (753)-Steve Rock (887), 1,640; Steve Gabriel (812)-Matt Bosko (823), 1,635, $150; Jim Patricelli (879)-Al Patricelli (756), 1,635, $150.
Other top teams — Ron Gardner (765)-Mike Drexel (861), 1,626; Craig Schoonmaker (865)-Rick Bogholtz (760), 1,625; Andy Smith (942)-Chris Smith (666), 1,608; Keith Livengood (783)-Mike Voss (799), 1,582; Paul Dumas Sr. (823)-Steve Horton (748), 1,571; Ken Hall (797)-Nick Galusha (766), 1,563; Sal Chiera (739)-Tom Reed (814), 1,553; Gene Speenberg (799)-Connor LeClair (752), 1,551; Bob Macey (785)-Bob Gogolak (764), 1,549; John Nieckarz (713)-Brian LeClair (835), 1,548.
Quarterfinals — Faragon-Mazuryk def. Brockway-Rock, 397-373; Brockway-Rock $250; Gumm-Geiger def. Renaud-Calka, 416-396; Renaud-Calka $250; Scaccia-Sickler def. Carl-Ray, 423-354; Carl-Ray $250; Strath-Wagoner def. Clemons-Clemons, 445-354; Clemons-Clemons $250.
Semifinals — Faragon-Mazuryk def. Gumm-Geiger, 447-431; Gumm-Geiger $400; Strath-Wagoner def. Scaccia-Sickler, 427-409; Scaccia-Sickler $400.
Final — Strath-Wagoner def. Faragon-Mazuryk, 462-369; Strath-Wagoner $1,600; Faragon-Mazuryk $800.