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The Bowling Report (10/28/2007)

If you see a bunch of bowlers standing in line at the vending machine at Winona Bowl this week, you can thank Bob Barth.

It was a little more than a year ago when Barth decided it was time to clean his bowling bowl. So he purchased one of those orange-smelling, damp towels out of the vending machine and proceeded to wipe the oil and dirt off his ball.

Lo and behold, Barth tossed a career-high 725 series that night.

This past Monday night in the City League at Winona Bowl, it was again ball-cleaning night for the 48-year-old owner of Rocco's Pizza. He inserted a couple of bucks into the machine, pulled out a towel and shined his ball once again.

And as fate would have it, that towel was lucky again.

Barth opened his first game with seven in a row en route to a 268 game. After firing a 205 his second game, he threw nine straight strikes to begin his final game. He wound up with a 278 game and a new career-high score of 751.

"I basically brought (the towel) to clean it off," Barth said. "I think last year I did it when I bowled 700 too. I guess keeping it clean helps."

It was only the fifth honor count of Barth's career, with the last three coming at Winona Bowl. He also tossed one of Mapleleaf Lanes and one a Kryzsko Commons at Winona State.

Barth dedicated his honor count on Monday to his dad, Tom (Rocco) Barth, who passed away on Aug. 17.

"After I left the bowling alley, I looked up in the sky and said ‘thanks dad for knocking down the pins' because I was carrying everything," Barth said. "He pretty much taught me everything about bowling."

That big score will help Barth get a little closer to the 200 average he's been seeking for a couple of years now. Two years ago, when he was bowling three nights a week, he got his average up to 199.

And last year, he averaged 199 in the City League, which is the only league he's bowling in currently.

"This has been a weird year," he said. "The first night I had a 640 and I didn't pick up a ball all summer.

"I always think I can be a 200 bowler. I'd like to think I'm better than I am. Some nights you get the pins to fall. I've been in the upper 190s. It's the spare shooting. Sometimes those 10-pins get you. If I could spare a little better, I'd score better."

Just keep shining that ball, Bob.

Who's hot?

Over the years, the Classic League at Westgate Bowl has dominated the scoring on Thursday nights. But since that league has gone to the PBA oil patterns this year, the scores haven't been as big.

That's not to say there are no big scores coming out of Westgate on Thursdays anymore. Last Thursday, the Action League, which bowls on the other eight lanes at Westgate, had five bowlers toss national honor counts, including Adam Stockhausen's 774 series. Bob Jandt (728), Jason Michalak (725), Matt Wise (718) and Mike Ready (718) also enjoyed big nights in the league.

On Monday night, big scores were the norm in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate. Mandi Steffes led the way with a season-high 659 series. Also rolling honor counts were Annette Trachta (651), Lindsay Serwa (636) and Laurie Wiseman (607).

Bob Prenot turned in his first two 700s of the season with a 773 series in the Mixed Nuts League at Winona Bowl Saturday, and a 718 score Friday in the Legion League, also at Winona Bowl.

Other men's 700 for the week were rolled by Steve Walters (754), Wes Palokangas (747), Chris Gardner (726), Mike Durnen (718), Brian Fakler (717, 710), Jeff Besek (708) and Tom Bell.

Keri Prigge (638, 602) and Maggie Glenn (611, 608) both carded a pair of honor counts to pace the ladies. Also breaking the 600 mark for the gals were Kassi Kluzik (624), Lynda Krall (618), Keri Wegman (613), Rose Schultz (609), Shirley Benedict (606) and Angie Booher (602).



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