Mansfield, Connecticut's Erik Loteczka captured his first DPBA tour win in a hard-fought 135-128 victory over Baltimore, MD's Bill Fox. The DPBA season opener, held on the weekend of April 27-29, occurred at Highland Bowl in Cheshire, CT.
The event was a 10-game qualifier in which Loteczka advanced as the 26th out of 30 finalists with a score of 1447. The cut was 1440. Leading the field in the Round 1 block was Dave Marsh with 1589.
Erik never faltered during the Sunday semi-finals, going 5-0 with 784 pinfall, and earned the 2nd seeding on the stepladder behind Bill Fox. Fox led the division heads with an 801 score to land the top seed spot, based on the DPBA's 'pinfall rules' seeding criteria.
There were numerous 'tie games' during the head-to- head round, with none more impactful than the draw between Division C's John Biederman and John Dean- toniis. Just a week earlier in the Pop Whitten Tour, Biederman edged Deantoniis on the stepladder by a narrow 1-pin margin to move on to ultimately win the event. This time, both Biederman and Deantoniis went 4½-½, but Biederman had higher pinfall to win the division, thus putting Dean- toniis in the wildcard position.
In Match 1, Deantoniis defeated Chris Ganoe 151-132, but would fall in Match 2 to John T. Zikis, 143-122. The 3rd seed, Biederman, met the Zikis challenge to win Match 3, 153-131. In Game 4, John would face the 2nd seed, Loteczka, and this time, Erik took control, winning the match 149-123. Loteczka then went on to defeat Bill Fox for the championship.
The young Loteczka was close to breaking through on the DPBA in the 2011 Turner Duckpin Classic. Back then, Erik made it to the 'Round of 8' quarter-finals, losing to Canada's Peter Brown in the elimination game after chopping the front pin off the 4-7 break on the crucial spare attempt in the game's 10th frame.
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