PORTLAND, Maine – With women dressed as Bavarian bar maids, men dressed as nuns and even a guy dressed as the Pope, one thing was clear Monday as the PBA Playoffs got underway at Bayside Bowl. It’s going to take incredible mental toughness to win matches.
Four players survived the first test Monday as the opening show of the PBA Playoffs took place live on FS1 and FloBowling. Advancing through the first Round of 24 show was Andres Gomez, Rhino Page, Kyle Troup and Kris Prather.
Seven other shows will be taped this week as part of the PBA Playoffs and air on Mondays through the end of May leading up to the live final four and championship shows on June 1 and 2.
Bayside Bowl is known as the rowdiest venue in all of bowling and that reputation was on full display Monday night. Music played as the bowlers competed, the fans were dressed up and it was louder than any PBA Tour event so far this season.
That energy level is expected to continue throughout the entire PBA Playoffs series as the shows are taped this week.
Here’s a recap of Monday’s first Round of 24 show:
No. 21 Andres Gomez 236, No. 12 Dick Allen 199
In a match that was never close, Gomez got off to a strong start and pulled away from Allen as the players got their first taste of the Bayside hospitality this year.
Gomez started out by leaving the tough 3-6-9-10 spare, which he converted, and then rattled off four consecutive strikes to build a 56-pin lead at the commercial break. Although he wouldn’t strike again until the final frame, Gomez’s lead was more than enough.
Allen got out of the gates slow, tripping a four pin for a strike in the first and then tossing back-to-back opens in the second and third frames. He left the 2-4-10 in the second and the 3-6-9-10 in the third.
Gomez will take on EJ Tackett in the Round of 16 in a show that airs April 29.
No. 13 Rhino Page 266, No. 20 Shawn Maldonado 205
Page gave the fans even more to cheer for in a massive victory over Maldonado as he started with eight strikes in a row.
After burying the pocket eight straight times, Page, clearly not rattled by the playing environment early on, stepped up in the ninth frame and pitched the ball wide left, missing the headpin and leaving the 1-3 combination, to end his run at perfection.
Maldonado was never a threat in the match after going strike, open, strike, spare to start the match. He managed to connect his first strikes for a double in the sixth and seventh frames but by then it was too little too late.
Anthony Simonsen awaits Page in the Round of 16. That match airs April 29.
No. 17 Kyle Troup 236, No. 16 Chris Barnes 205
Troup emerged with the victory in a hard-fought match with PBA Hall of Famer Barnes in a match that was close throughout.
Until the final frame, the most either player led by was two marks with Troup striking in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames to build a 21-pin lead. Needing just five pins in the final frame to lock up the win, Troup struck out.
Barnes led after a couple frames and kept the match close but two critical errors sealed his fate. In the seventh frame, Barnes pitched the ball wide right and left the 1-2-4-7 spare. His next shot on that lane, he changed balls and repeated the same error, this time leaving the 1-2 combination.
Troup’s win sets up a battle of two-handers as he will face Jason Belmonte in the Round of 16 in a show that airs April 22.
No. 9 Kris Prather 207, No. 24 Darren Tang 183
Although it was technically the closest match of the night, it didn’t really feel that way as Prather had control most of the match.
Prather got out of the gates with spare, strike, spare, double to build a 34-pin lead heading into the commercial break. Immediately following the break, he made his worst shot of the match, leaving and missing the 3-4-6-7 split but it ended up not costing him.
Tang, meanwhile, struggled on the right lane early, leaving the 2-10 split for an open in the second frame and the 8-10 split for an open in the fourth. Although he cut the deficit to 15 pins after eight frames, Prather popped a couple strikes to put the match away.
In a match that airs April 22, Prather will take on Tom Daugherty in the Round of 16.
The Round of 24 continues Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on FS1 for U.S. audiences and on FloBowling for international fans.
Matchups include Wes Malott vs. Josh Blanchard, Marshall Kent vs. Jesper Svensson, Dom Barrett vs. Brad Miller and Kyle Sherman vs. DJ Archer.