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In the Pocket: Diamond happy with team success

In the Pocket: Diamond happy with team success

Bob Weiner's weekly look at bowling in the Capital Region
In the Pocket: Diamond happy with team success
Jay Diamond
Photographer: Photo Provided

Don’t ask Jay Diamond about his phenomenal individual accomplishments on the lanes. The 49-year-old lefty from Schoharie would rather discuss his numerous contributions to a couple of the Capital Region’s most successful scratch teams.

Last season, as part of the Muny Grille team, Diamond joined with his brother, Jamie, and the Bingham brothers, Gary and Dave, to win their 10th scratch league title in the last 11 seasons by capturing the Sportsman’s Majors crown Monday nights at Sportsman’s Bowl. That quartet’s string of championships originally began with the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League at Towne Bowling Academy.

Muny Grille is currently in first place again this season, although it has just a four-point lead over Mazone’s Heating.

But Diamond’s other powerhouse team, The Zoo, is also in line for another championship in the Vitalo Classic, which bowls Saturday nights at Sportsman’s. The Zoo, a three-man team including both Diamond brothers and Mark Ray, holds a hefty 27-point lead over Guidarelli’s Liquor.

According to former longtime league secretary Dave Mennillo, Diamond’s The Zoo squad has won 10 Vitalo Classic championships, including the last six in a row, to go along with titles in 2002-03, 2005-06, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

“That’s why I go down there — to bowl in those competitive leagues,” Diamond said. “I’m living in Middleburgh now, and it’s a 45-minute drive. I don’t go down there to lose. It’s good, clean fun with good, friendly competition. For me, it’s a complete honor to bowl with guys like the Binghams and my brother. They all have solid games, and they know how to bowl. It’s no easy road to win those titles. We bowled at Marty’s place [Towne Bowling Academy], and now we’re at Sportsman’s. Every team in both houses has been tough to beat.”

This year at Sportsman’s, John Musto Jr. replaced Gary Bingham on the Muny Grille team.

“We’ve bowled with John before, and he also bowled with the Bingham brothers before. You can’t get much better. That guy is a powerhouse, and he’s fun to bowl with,” Diamond said of Musto, who along with his sister, Jodi, is one of the nation’s leaders in combined perfect games by a set of siblings.

Diamond, a lifelong New York Yankees fan battling chronic knee problems, said his teammates in both leagues continue to dominate because of their experience and ability to adjust.

“We’re all getting old and broken down, for sure,” he said. “Somehow, we manage to pull through. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’ve been bowling so long. We have the experience. We’ve been bowling from the plastic ball days to the reactive resin days. Youth is good, but I’ll take experience any day. Our guys can play and adjust to any condition we face.

Along with all of his scratch team championships, Diamond said he is most proud of winning the Huck Finn Super Bowl Doubles title with his brother at Lake George Bowl. They beat Joe Mazuryk and Mike Drexel, probably the most dominant two-person teams of their era. The Diamonds and the Binghams have combined to win numerous Champlain Open and Green Mountain Open team scratch tournaments, and they used to be a force any time they competed.

Although he doesn’t like to talk about his own personal accolades, Diamond is having another sensational season. He recently rolled perfect games in back-to-back weeks. In the Vitalo Classic he rolled an 870 triple for his final three games. “I started out a little slow that night, but I made a quick ball switch and didn’t have to move after that. I got some lucky breaks, and the carry was good,” he said.

Diamond is currently leading the Vitalo Classic in average (238), and his 236 average is second behind Chris Fawcett in the Sportsman’s Majors.

In his 18-year career as a member of the Vitalo Classic, Diamond has an impressive composite 235 average, including a personal-best average of 243 in the 2010-11 season. He’s won five Vitalo scoring titles. Of his estimated 75 career perfect games, 29 of them have come in the Vitalo Classic. Out of his 40 800 triples, 17 were first-three 800s in the Vitalo.

Diamond’s imposing personal resume includes a Schenectady USBC four-game record 1,177 series, which included games of 300, 279, 299 and 299 in the 2004-05 season. That mark is second nationally behind Tom Jordan’s 1,198.

“That was some night,” he recalled. “I had a chance to bowl four perfect games that night. I rapped three solid 7-pins. That’s when I threw it good.”

He also set a Vitalo league record for most 200 games in a season (120) in 2010-11.

“Over the weeks, I’ve been consistent,” Diamond noted. “My spare shooting has gotten better this year, and let’s face it, we bowl on fairly easy patterns. It still all comes down to carry. The way the bowling balls are today, they transition quickly. You’ve got to stay ahead on your moves. I think a lot of my success is because there are rarely a lot of lefties on my side of the lane. I can create my own path and repeat shots. That’s an advantage in league bowling. I don’t see the transition as much as the right-handers do.”

Diamond is hoping to return to individual tournament competition when he turns 50, but it all depends on his health.

“I tore my knee several times over the years, and I’ve never had anything done with it,” he said. “Sometimes, I’m in excruciating pain, and it’s hard to bowl. Luckily, I’ve held up over the years. Sometimes, like the final game Saturday night, I have to sit out a game. My knee can go at any time. It’s like a time bomb,” he said. “I just keep it wrapped and hope for the best.”

Mennillo has seen many of the area’s best bowlers come and go, and he is extremely impressed with Diamond.

“Jay is not only one of the greatest bowlers in the Vitalo Classic, [but] along with his accomplishments in the City League and the Sportsman’s Majors, it makes him one of the all-time greats in Capital District bowling,” Mennillo said. “He is one of the nicest gentlemen in our game. He is a humble superstar, never boasts or shows any disrespect to the sport. The many young bowlers today can learn a lot by watching how Jay conducts himself both on and off the lanes. He handles himself with class and style and is a true credit to the game of bowling. Our sport could use more Jay Diamonds.”

STRIKES & SPARES

New Era Senior Tour executive director Jim Burton has announced that the NEST will return after a long absence. He expects to run a singles event in early April and a doubles tournament in late April or May. He will announce the dates soon.

The Amateur League Bowlers Association of New York’s next tournament will be March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry fee is $30 if paid by Sunday or $45 otherwise. Top prize will be $500. Only bowlers with averages less than 215 are eligible. Handicap will be 100 percent to 215, with a maximum of 75 pins per game. This is the last chance to earn enough points to be eligible for the A.L.B.A.N.Y. Main Event April 28 at 9:30 a.m. at Spare Time Latham. Bowlers must have competed in two A.L.B.A.N.Y. events to be eligible for the year-end championship, which will have an expanded prize list and $750 first prize. For more information, call Jim Burton at 518-209-4748.

The 17th annual Joe & Tom Donato Memorial Scratch Singles, with a top prize of $3,200 guaranteed, continues Friday at 9:15 p.m. at Saratoga Strike Zone. There is also a squad Saturday at 1 p.m. at Broadway Lanes in Fort Edward. Other squads early next week include one at Towne Bowling Academy Monday night at 9:15 p.m. and Wednesday night at 9:15 p.m. at Del Lanes. Entry fee for most of the squads is $60. Squads continue through March 24, the day of the finals at Towne Bowling Academy. PBA Tour standout Kyle Troup won last year’s tournament, considered one of the Capital Region’s most prestigious and lucrative events. Call Tommy Donato at 518-788-0771 for more information.

Towne Bowling Academy hosts the Over/Under 50 Singles Tournament Sunday at 10 a.m. Qualifying will be five games across 10 lanes in each bracket. Eight bowlers per bracket will advance to the finals, and the bowlers will square off in each bracket to decide bracket champions, who will meet in the finals for bonus money. Entry fee is $70. Call Towne Bowling Academy for more information or for reservations.

The Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour will hold its Ultimate Eliminator event Saturday at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Green Island Lanes hosts the 31st annual Charlie Bechard Memorial Senior Tournament for bowlers 50 years and older. Squads are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and March 23, with check-in at noon and practice at 12:30 p.m. each day. Age classifications are 50-60, 61-71 and 72 and over. Handicap is 100 percent of 220, with a maximum of 70 pins per game. Entry fee is $25. Checks should be made out to Green Island Lanes and mailed to Green Island Lanes, 4 Lafayette Street, Green Island N.Y., 12183. Call 518-640-8330 for more information.

Newly revised applications for the Schenectady USBC Hall of Fame are now available. If anyone would like to nominate someone or has any questions, contact Hall of Fame committee chairman Chet Ciembronowicz at 518-577-8562.

MAJOR BOWLING

Professional Women’s Bowling Association standout Liz Kuhlkin capped off a brilliant week by shooting a 1,046 four-game series in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league, where Chris Allen-Valenzuela connected for a perfect game en route to a 1,026 and Kenny Livengood produced a 984 Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Kuhlkin tossed a 779 triple, Rob Beedleson tossed a 299 game en route to a 777 triple, and Debbie Capullo rolled a 300 game in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City league Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.
Chris Fedden rolled a 300 game and a 773 triple, Eric Hilton shot a 766 and Mike Giaquinto registered a 751 in the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Jake Shank produced a 943 four-game series, and Ray Haupt shot a 939 in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings
Vito Sindoni 22.5-7.5, Downs Roofing 19.5-10.5, Falvey Real Estate 19-11, Mohawk Honda 16.5-13.5, Kristel Mechanic 16-14, DeCrescente Dist. 15.5-14.5, Driveline Motors 15-15, Towne Bowling Academy 15-15, J&F Lawn Care 14-16, Boulevard Bowl 14-16, D&D Lawncare 13-17, Bedrock Construction 11-19, Action Bowling Supply 10-20, 20 North 9-21.
———
Boulevard Bowl (2)
PJ Derenzo 200-213-267 — 680, Craig Smith 194-265-235 — 694, Ken Wilkins 214-237-215 — 666, Derek Foti 211-255-267 — 733. Totals: 819-970-984 — 2,773.
DeCrescente Dist. (1)
Jessica Aiezza 245-186-225 — 656, Mark Kuhlkin 190-247-211 — 648, Scott Rogers 237-259-228 — 724, Liz Kuhlkin 258-254-267 — 779. Totals: 930-946-931 — 2,807.
———
Towne Bowling Academy (2)
Tom Earl 187-224-215 — 626, Nunzi Manuli 245-223-269 — 737, Marty Capullo Jr. 225-174-223 — 632, Debbie Capullo 300-175-279 — 754. Totals: 967-796-986 — 2,749.
Mohawk Honda (1)
Ed Gumm 234-179-184 — 597, Jody Becker 206-221-226 — 653, Ken LaBelle 178-224-186 — 598, Mark Ray 279-222-203 — 704. Totals: 897-846-799 — 2,542.
———
Action Bowling Supply (0)
Rit Fazzone 160-193-192 — 545, Bob Messick 242-194-210 — 646, Natasha Bidwell 223-227-211 — 665, Matt Fazzone 229-235-228 — 692. Totals: 858-849-841 ­ 2,548.
Downs Roofing (3)
Chris Tinkle 223-192-206 — 621, Nick Barnes 194-235-187 — 616, Ryan Karabin 236-255-254 — 745, Billy Wigand 248-212-225 — 685. Totals: 901-894-872 — 2,667.
———
Falvey Real Estate (1)
Dan Auricchio 279-220-230 — 737, Ron Unser 235-246-205 — 687, Jeff Young 214-194-225 — 633, Craig Taylor 259-236-270 — 765. Totals: 988-896-938 — 2,822.
Driveline Motors (2)
Rob Beedleson 232-246-299 — 777, Keith Lawyer 266-219-268 — 753, Dan Rotter 214-215-231 — 660, Tony Palumbo 235-220-223 — 678. Totals: 947-900-1,021 — 2868.
———
Kristel Mechanic (3)
Mel Kristel 252-199-222 — 673, Jeff Whitehouse 247-258-216 — 721, Ed White 210-219-269 — 698, Bryan Kelley 256-242-232 — 731. Totals: 965-915-939 — 2,823.
20 North (0)
Marc LeClair 255-225-183 — 663, Bob Faragon 223-182-194 — 599, Joel Donato 214-244-204 — 662, Tommy Donato 216-257-181 — 654. Totals: 908-908-762 — 2,578.
———
D&D Lawncare (3)
Tom Rogers 225-222-236 — 683, Laura Rotter 27-244-251 — 722, Jeremy Noble 298-227-232 — 757, Patti Tenyenhuis 226-216-239 — 681. Totals: 976-909-958 — 2,843.
Bedrock Construction (0)
Jim Geiger 219-236-235 — 690, Ed McGaffin 216-223-206 — 645, Eric Stangle 215-255-191 — 661, Steve Wagoner 269-179-210 — 658. Totals: 919-893-842 — 2,654.
———
J&F Lawn Care (2)
Jason Brown 209-279-241 — 729, Joe DeVellis 258-279-219 — 756, Nick Stricos 245-204-289 — 738, Steve Hallenbeck 289-204-229 — 722. Totals: 1,001-966-978 — 2,945.
Vito Sindoni (1)
Scott Chastenay 258-201-205 — 664, Mike DiCerbo 235-257-258 — 750, Rich Strath 264-202-215 — 681, Joe VanDerLinden 279-203-242 — 724. Totals: 1,036-863-920 — 2,819.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings
Muny Grille 36.5-11.5, Mazone’s Heating 32.5-15.5, Madison Grille 30-18, Guidarelli’s Liquor 28-20, Metroland Photo 28-20, Mike’s Hot Dogs 25-23, Mohawk Tap Room 23-25, Universal Auto Parts 20-28, Sauce Baseball 19-29, The Appliance Specialist 18-30, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 17-31, IDID 11-37.
———
Madison Grille (3)
Nick Kallner 191-184-227 — 602, Eric Hilton 278-232-256 — 768, Bill Carl 267-208-266 — 741, Jason Deitz 203-253-233 — 689. Totals: 939-877-982 — 2,798.
Universal Auto Parts (1)
Andy Smith 170-213-278 — 661, Dave Henderson 204-279-192 — 675, Keith Livengood 185-246-257 — 688, Chris Fedden 300-245-228 — 773. Totals: 859-983-955 — 2,797
———
IDID (1)
Tony Fernandez 211-169-201 — 581, Flash Gordon 170-168-172 — 510, Jim Valentino 182-181-203 — 566, AJ Perone 214-184-257 — 655. Totals: 777-702-833 — 2,312.
Muny Grille (4)
Jay Diamond 258-227-195 — 680, Dave Bingham 237-223-207 — 667, John Musto Jr. 265-197-170 — 632, Jamie Diamond 226-247-224 — 697. Totals: 986-894-796 — 2,676.
———
Mike’s Hot Dogs (2)
Doug Semerad 218-226-191 — 635, Tammy Sader 188-229-192 — 609, Mike Giaquinto 257-248-246 — 751, Kevin Palmer 227-247-196 — 669. Totals: 890-950-824 — 2,664.
Klonowski’s Pro Shop (2)
Doug Bywater 202-223-211 — 636, Jason Lott 254-178-203 — 638, Cliff Ruth 235-204-214 — 653, Jim Petronis 232-256-234 — 722. Totals: 923-861-862 — 2,646.
———
Metroland Photo (1)
Lee Quivey 179-193-197 — 569, Mike Kamm 136-210-212 –558, Steve Renzi 214-209-207 — 630, Mike Gallitelli 202-172-226 — 600. Totals: 731-784-842 — 2,357.
Mohawk Tap Room (3)
Brett Rozniewski 211-197-225 — 633, Walt Jones 215-231-204 — 650, Joe Rozniewski Jr. 165-246-207 — 618, Christian Chiarito 244-226-173 — 643. Totals: 835-900-809 — 2,544.
———
Mazone’s Heating (2.5)
Joe Paone 247-220-267 — 734, Chris Mazone 150-198-200 — 548, Len Reyngoudt 224-256-215 — 695, Ryan Gahan 232-225-267 — 724. Totals: 853-899-949 — 2,701.
Sauce Baseball (1.5)
Joe D’Aurizio Jr. 217-225-190 — 632, Kalynn Carl 224-217-211 — 652, Bob Tedesco Jr. 196-199-188 — 583, Mike Smith 216-266-267 — 749. Totals: 853-907-856 — 2,616.
———
The Appliance Specialist (3)
Steve Alexander 213-202-238 — 653, Zack Porter 229-256-217 — 702, Justin Carl 268-244-217 — 729, Vacant 200-200-200 — 600. Totals: 910-902-872 — 2,684.
Guidarelli’s Liquor (1)
Mike Guidarelli 225-279-209 — 713, Jim Bassotti 244-204-167 — 615, Jim Parker 211-232-178 — 621, Matt Swiatocha 205-259-212 — 676. Totals: 885-974-766 — 2,625.

FRANK DEPALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings
Boulevard Bowl 31-9, Masons Automotive 26.5-13.5, Ledies 23.5-16.5, Karner Auto 20-20, Town N Country Lanes 20-20, D.A. Parisi & Co. 16-24, Team 8 11.5-28.5, Kalpro 11.5-28.5
———
Town N Country Lanes (1)
Jake Shank 257-244-243-199 — 943, Jack Scaccia Jr. 239-194-206-247 — 886, Phil James 169-166-184-202 — 721. Totals: 665-604-633-648 — 2,550.
Masons Automotive (4)
Ron Williams 215-183-236-234 — 868, Robin Fredenburgh 234-172-212-222 — 840, B.J. Smith Jr. 225-246-203-250 — 924. Totals: 674-601-651-706 — 2,632.
———
Kalpro (2)
Keith Lawyer 163-204-267-289 — 923, Chet Ciembronowicz 247-158-204-195 — 804, Joe Carusone 176-213-182-181 — 752. Totals: 586-575-653-665 — 2,479.
Boulevard Bowl (3)
Mike Scaccia 243-265-225-190 — 923, Brian Hart 203-236-196-200 — 835, Derek Foti 187-246-195-226 — 854. Totals: 633-747-616-616 — 2,612.
———
D.A. Parisi & Co. (1)
John Mecca 206-197-214-206 — 823, Jeff Williams 188-221-191-175 — 775, Ken Wilkins 215-207-182-194 — 798. Totals: 609-625-587-575 ‑ 2,396.
Ledies (4)
Kathy Bryk 147-211-170-168 — 695, Lee Quivey 216-215-197-204 — 832, Dan Bryk 234-203-226-216 — 879. Totals: 597-629-593-588 — 2,407.
———
Team 8 (2)
Spark Derenzo 190, Ray Haupt 247-249-216-227 — 939, Tony Bianchi 211-257-174-183 — 825, Amy Janetsky 205-202-181 — 588. Totals: 648-711-592-591 — 2,542.
Karner Auto (3)
Devon Schwartz 171-203-256-221 — 851, Vince Villano 195-206-246-188 ‑835, John DeVarnne 238-218-212-248 — 916. Totals: 604-627-714-657 — 2,602.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings
Sindoni Sausage 145-5.74.5, A Touch of Country Florist 144-76, Towne Bowling Academy 133.5-86.5, GPS Transport 131.5-88.5, Pete’s Auto 128.5-91.5, Action Bowling Supply 123.5-96.5, Capital District Mobile Vet 120-100, Next Level Detail 115-105, Limitless Plumbing 112-108, Strike & Spare Pro Shop 111.5-108.5, Home Town Pub 108-112, Bellevue Builder 105-115, DeCrescente Dist. 104.5-115.5, Debra Lamay Agency 100.5-119.5, Battenkill Motor 98-122, Marcelle’s Appliance 97-123, MAC Tools 94.5-125.5, DeNooyer 79-141, Fifteen Church 77.5-142.5, A Plus Heating 67-153.
———
DeNooyer (13)
Michelle Largeteau 135-162-126-144 — 567, Bill Miglianti 211-172-151-185 — 719. Totals: 346-334-277-329 — 1,286.
A Plus Heating (7)
Felicia Campanella 182-156-159-126 — 623, Tony Pasquerella 175-160-193-170 — 698. Totals: 357-316-352-296 — 1,321.
———
A Touch of Country Florist (7)
Janelle Irwin 257-266-211-148 — 882, Steve Irwin 159-224-223-235 — 841. Totals: 416-490-434-383 — 1,723.
Sindoni Sausage (13)
Liz Kuhlkin 258-249-260-279 — 1,046, Joe VanDerLinden 259-214-216-215  904. Totals: 517-463-476-494 — 1,950.
———
Towne Bowling Academy (11.5)
Debbie Capullo 237-239-193-230 — 899, Ryan Gahan 244-215-202-231 — 892. Totals: 481-454-395-461 — 1,791.
Pete’s Auto (8.5)
Jenn Schissler 257-199-191-192 — 839, Chuckie Schissler 249-261-175-189 — 874. Totals: 506-460-366-381 — 1,713.
———
GPS Transport (17)
Kim Swiatocha 236-225-234-227 — 922, Matt Swiatocha 208-231-242-201 — 882. Totals: 477-489-509-461 — 1,804.
Next Level Detailing (3)
Tammy Sader 211-213-244-180 — 848, Matt Fazzone 228-213-168-215 — 823. Totals: 439-426-412-395 — 1,672.
———
Capital District Mobile Vet (14)
Chris Allen-Valenzuela 258-267-300-201 — 1,026, John Askew 270-223-207-259 — 959. Totals: 528-490-507-460 — 1,985.
Strike & Spare Pro Shop (6)
Jackie Malone 237-221-193-216 — 867, Paul Dumas 234-259-265-216 — 974. Totals: 471-480-458-432 — 1,841.
———
Action Bowling Supply (19)
Jordan Byrnes 218-213-268-215 — 914, Kenny Livengood 268-256-253-207 — 984. Totals: 486-469-521-422 — 1,898.
DeCrescente Dist. (1)
Jessica Aiezza 215-188-209-193 ­ 805, Scott Rogers 279-198-234-223 — 934. Totals: 494-386-443-416 — 1,739.
———
Bellevue Builder (5)
Ursula Pasquerella 200-212-259-186 — 857, Bill Nolan 164-242-178-169 ‑753. Totals: 364-454-437-355 — 1,610.
Limitless Plumbing (15)
Lindsay McPhail 180-214-266-224 — 884, Dave McLear 210-180-200-193 — 783. Totals: 390-394-466-417 — 1,667.
———
Battenkill Motor (5)
Laura Rotter 228-183-188-189 — 788, Dan Rotter 169-174-155-190 — 688. Totals: 397-357-343-379 — 1,476.
Home Town Pub (15)
Nicole D’Amario 169-155-220-190 — 734, Tom Rogers 204-186-192-174 — 756. Totals: 373-341-412-364 ‑ 1,476.
———
Marcella’s Appliance (5)
Jessica Brockmyer 211-188-223-241 — 863, Don Herrington 207-211-206-256 — 880. Totals: 418-399-429-497 — 1,743.
Debra Lamay Agency (15)
Amber Dominic 207-202-213-256 — 878, Chris Charron 222-278-236-205 — 941. Totals: 429-480-449-461 — 1,819.
———
MAC Tools (10)
Kylie Pasquerella 187-211-186-169 — 753, Keith Diamante 204-212-213-220 — 849. Totals: 391-423-399-389 — 1,602
Fifteen Church (10)
Kris Impellizzeri 230-163-206-225 — 824, Lee Quivey 15-224-206-234 — 819. Totals: 385-387-412-459 — 1,643.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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