Indiana team rolls highest game in USBC Open history

By Aaron Smith and Jessica Gilgor
USBC Communications 

RENO, Nev. - Team Turbo Grips of Fort Wayne, Ind., rallied back from a disappointing opening game at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships by rolling the first 1,300 team game in the 111-year history of the event.

Led by Terry Rohrer's 298, Team Turbo Grips fired 1,318 at the National Bowling Stadium to surpass the 1,299 posted by of Naugatuck, Conn., on May 2.

Rohrer, who rolled a 300 at the 2009 USBC Open Championships, was joined in the record-effort by George Palumbo (268), Kent Wagner (266), 2010 Team All-Events champion JR Raymond (258) and defending Regular Singles champion Zeke Bayt (228).

Team Turbo Grips also moved into sixth place in Regular Team on Friday, adding games of 1,009 and 1,184 for a 3,511 series. Motion Plus Lanes of Cudahy, Wis., leads with 3,561.

Raymond led the way for Team Turbo Grips with a 743 set and was followed by Palumbo (716), Rohrer (706), Bayt (674) and Wagner (672).

"We didn't have a very good first game," said Bayt, who made his third Open Championships appearance. "A couple of us struggled with ball reaction, and then we found it. These guys bowled phenomenal. They said they didn't know what was going on, but I remembered someone shot 1,299, and that no one had ever shot 1,300. I looked up in the eighth frame and saw we still had a shot at 1,300."

The team gave Rohrer the chance to secure the record with a strike on his first ball in the 10th frame, and he delivered. Although he fell short of becoming the 29th bowler in tournament history to have multiple perfect games on the championship lanes, Rohrer was surprised by the record and elated by his team's effort.

"I didn't realize what our team was shooting and didn't put the numbers together," said Rohrer, who made his 14th tournament appearance. "After I finished, they said we had set the record. We talked, had a plan in place and all worked together, and that was part of the magic today."

The group will return to the lanes for doubles and singles Saturday at 2 p.m. EDT, and their performance will be featured live on BowlTV as Bayt puts his singles title on the line.

RaymondBaytRohrer2014BJ250x140Earlier in the day, Rohrer, Raymond and Bayt all found success on the high side of the 78-lane venue as they re-wrote the standings at the Storm Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC.

Rohrer kicked things off with a 299 game on the side event's opening squad Friday morning and matched the effort later in the day with Raymond and Bayt, starting his second shift with another 299.

The momentum continued for all three as they moved into the top three spots in Open Doubles. Raymond also came within one pin of the lead in Open Singles and in the Dual Entry standings.

Raymond finished his set with a perfect game for a 779 series, catapulting him and Bayt (755) into the top doubles spot with 1,534. Raymond and Rohrer (748) moved into second with 1,527, and Bayt and Rohrer settled into third with 1,503.

Devin Bidwell and Chris Drewes of Wichita, Kan., had taken the lead Wednesday with 1,495, while Steven Badovinac of Parker, Colo., remains atop the Open Singles and Dual Entry standings with 780.

The Bowlers Journal Championships features the same 40-foot Sport-certified lane condition being used for doubles and singles at the Open Championships is being contested on lanes 69-78 at the NBS.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.