The weekend of June 16-17, 2012 saw one of the duckpin game's dominant forces return to the winner's circle as New Bedford, Massachusetts' Ron Pelletier captured his 7th DPBA title. Meadowbrook Lanes in Warwick, Rhode Island was the host house for the DPBA's 3rd event of 2012 in which 100 of the best small ball bowlers in the nation competed.
After a strong showing at the prior DPBA event at Southside Bowl in Hagerstown, Pelletier was groomed and ready to take on all comers at Meadowbrook. Ron qualified comfortably with a stellar effort of 1230 for his 8-game preliminary block which was 3rd best, behind Mark Callahan (1250) and John Deantoniis (1247). All 3 top qualifiers rolled their best games in Game 7 of the 8-game preliminaries— Callahan had a monster 233 effort, Deantoniis tossed a 189, and Pelletier shot a 184 game. The cut for the 30 qualifiers was 1124.
During the Sunday semi-finals, Pelletier was magnificent. The tall, 6'6" lanky left-hander with a devastating sidewinder-type delivery was perfect in match play at 5-0 in the divisional round, and earned the tournament's top seeding with the high pinfall of 818 amongst the 30 qualifiers.
Ron would have to wait to finish his tournament run as the stepladder action opened, pitting the wildcard, Hamden, CT's John Zikis against the number 5 seed, Baltimore, MD's Dom Caprinolo. Zikis would prevail 149-129 and then took on Dundalk, MD's Barry Schriefer. In a match between 2 lions of the game, Schriefer got the offense going to come away with a 185-141 victory. Barry now had the target on his chest as he was the prey for the 3rd seed from Canada— Oshawa, Ontario's Mike Herbert. This time it was Herbert who took the baton from Schriefer in the ascent upwards on the stepladder, with Mike defeating Barry with a strong game, 153-123. With a win under his belt, Herbert was now eyeing the championship in hopes of becoming the first Canadian to win a DPBA tour stop. But it would be an expected uphill climb for Mike, with 2 tough opponents remaining. The 2nd seed, Martinsburg, West Virginia's Tim Bosley was waiting in the wings. The match ensued, and the usually gritty Bosley this time would run into the 'fickle finger of fate'. Tim never got a chance to muster any kind of prolonged offense, which led to a relaxed Herbert victory.
Mike Herbert now had bowled his way into his 2nd career DPBA championship match, looking to avenge his defeat from 2010. But the hill he had climbed was as steep as it could get, with having to face the menacing Ron Pelletier. The two combatants were evenly matched, as both were undefeated with 5-0 records in divisional play. The duckpin experience edge would belong to Pelletier, but Herbert had 2 ladder wins under his belt, which proved to be an intriguing climax to the event.
The championship got underway, and both men were tenacious. But Pelletier got an edge as the contest progressed into its 2nd half. Mike hung tough, but Ron stayed error-free, remained poised, and got sharper as the battle moved along. With a strong rally at the game's end, Pelletier distanced himself from Herbert, ultimately ending in a 147-125 win.
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