PORTLAND, Maine - The shark slayed the giant.
Kris Prather, whose nickname is Shark, took down the PBA Tour’s top-ranked bowler, Jason Belmonte, in the biggest upset yet of the PBA Playoffs. In the other match on Monday’s show, Anthony Simonsen advanced over Andres Gomez.
Here’s a recap of both matches:
No. 9 Kris Prather 2, No. 1 Jason Belmonte 0
Just days after being selected with the first pick in the PBA League Draft by the hometown Portland Lumberjacks, Prather was the crowd favorite as he took down Belmonte in the quarterfinals.
Both players struggled in the first game with both opening in the third frame with splits. The struggles continued into the back half of the game, especially for Belmonte, who couldn’t find ball reaction or execution.
Finishing the game first, Belmonte didn’t put any pressure on Prather, who took the first game by a score of 197-165.
Both players found better ball reaction in the second game but Belmonte fell behind when he left and missed the 3-10 baby split in the third frame. Prather had an open of his own as he left the 3-6-7-10 split in the sixth frame and missed it.
In the final frame, with Belmonte leading by a pin, Prather stepped up first and threw three absolutely clutch strikes to put maximum pressure on Belmonte.
Needing three strikes to win the game, Belmonte got the first one but yanked his second shot high, leaving a three pin to be knocked out of the tournament.
No. 4 Anthony Simonsen 2, No. 21 Andres Gomez 1
After sweeping EJ Tackett in a Round of 16 upset, Gomez looked like he would be tough to beat early on against Simonsen. That turned out not to be the case.
Gomez started the first game with four in a row, building a 38-pin lead by the halfway point. He continued that momentum into the second half of the opener with a double.
Simonsen tried to mount a comeback with a three-bagger to start the second half of the game but a 10 pin in the ninth frame dimmed his hopes.
When Gomez stepped up in the final frame, he needed just eight pins to secure the win and almost threw the ball in the gutter. The ball hung on and got exactly eight pins as he won 234-207.
The second game was a reversal of fortunes as Simonsen put on his striking shoes in the third frame and rattled off a five-bagger to build a 49-pin lead.
Gomez, meanwhile, left back-to-back 10 pins in the fourth and fifth frames, the second of which he missed.
By the time the 10th frame rolled around, Simonsen needed just seven pins to shut out Gomez and he carried a runaway Brooklyn for a strike to send the match into a tiebreaker.
In the ninth and 10th frame roll-off, Gomez stunned the crowd by leaving and missing another 10 pin in his opening frame. He did strike out in the 10th frame, however, to put some pressure on Simonsen.
Needing a spare and a strike to win by one, Simonsen got a double and six to win the tiebreaker 56-39.
The wins for Prather and Simonsen advanced them into the semifinals, which will take place on June 1. The quarterfinals at the PBA Playoffs come to a close Monday as Bill O’Neill takes on Wes Malott and Dom Barrett bowls Sean Rash.
The second quarterfinals show airs Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern on FS1 for U.S. viewers and on FloBowling for international audiences.