Mike Miseno is not the most patient bowler in the world, so when the 35-year-old Amsterdam native whiffed on a 10-pin in the sixth frame and then threw a gutter ball in the seventh frame, settling for just five pins on his second ball, it looked like he was finished.
But the intense Miseno converted a single-pin spare in the eighth frame, made a ball change in the ninth and struck out with a four-timer to rally past Ryan Gahan in the annual Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial championship game Sunday at Boulevard Bowl.
The season-ender for the Huck Finn/Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s “Capital Region Bowling Show,” is named after the late Jack Scaccia Sr., who was one of the area’s most innovative proprietors. Most of his family, including his proprietor sons Mike (Boulevard), Jack Jr. (Town ’N Country) and Joe (Alpha) were on hand to help celebrate the special event.
Miseno admitted that he was nervous throughout the finals, and things only got worse when after putting together a double in the fourth and fifth frames, he left a solid 10-pin in the sixth.
“I was [ticked off] when I left that ringing 10-pin,” he said. “Then, when I missed the spare, it carried over to the next frame. That’s why I threw the gutter ball.”
Miseno, an Amsterdam school teacher and the younger brother of area standout Nick Miseno Jr., quickly went to his bag and found another ball. It gave him time to let off a little steam, as well.
“I got lucky in the ninth with that strike, and then I made three great shots in the 10th,” he said. “I’m so happy that they didn’t use a house shot. It’s the same shot they had for us this morning [during qualifying]. It’s a tough shot, and that’s the way it should be,” he said.
Miseno, who throws a powerful hook and prefers an inside line, was especially thrilled to win a tournament named after the Scaccia family.
“I love all the Scaccias, and I know Jack Scaccia Jr. very well. I’ve bowled in some tournaments with him,” Miseno said. “To win a tournament with the Scaccia name on it is very special to me. This feels really, really good. I haven’t won anything in a long time, and I have a lot of respect for the Scaccia family.”
The demanding lane conditions changed drastically for the final three games of the tournament under the TV lights, and all four bowlers struggled, both in the semifinals and the championship game.
Gahan, a 25-year-old power bowler from Rotterdam, took the early lead in the championship game with a spare, a double, another spare, and another strike.
Miseno converted a big 2-4-6-10 split in the opening frame and then made a pair of spares before his double.
It looked like Gahan would walk away with the trophy when Miseno struggled in the sixth and seventh frames, but back-to-back opens, on a 4-6 split and a chopped 3-6-10 leave, opened the door slightly for Miseno, who took full advantage.
Miseno used a four-bagger in the opening game to slip past 66-year-old Russ Hunter of South Bethlehem, 208-181, in the first semifinal. Gahan edged Craig Taylor of Rotterdam, 192-185, in the other semifinal.
Miseno took home $2,200, while Gahan earned $1,200.
The Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial will be televised Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on MY 4.