The two welcome arrivals on the Western New York bowling scene seem to be off to strong starts. We’re talking about the weekly Beat the Champ show on WBBZ-TV, tapings of which air at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and at 11 p.m. on Sundays.
The second newcomer is the Buffalo Bowlers Tour, which has two stops in the books heading to next Sunday’s competition at Abbott Lanes.
Matt Zasowski of Tonawanda is the reigning Beat the Champ on the show to be aired Saturday. He won an intense 237-225 match over former Obenauer Masters champion Mike Zarcone of the Town of Tonawanda in the last show after Zarcone had unseated John Palmer, 200-167. Zasowski then won his first match as champion, triumphing over Tony Dolan of West Seneca, in an intense, 248-245 match. Dolan was making his second Beat the Champ show.
Zasowski faces a lineup that includes William Gearhart Jr. of Amherst, Myles Smith of Cheektowaga and another former Obenauer champion, John Masiello of Buffalo.
Winning two or more in a row has not been simple in front of the TV lights against tough competition. Nineteen bowlers have appeared on the show so far and Zasowski is only the fifth to get back-to-back wins. Matthew Eaker of Dunkirk was the first in Week Two on Jan. 16 before he was unseated by Gary Kinyon of Lockport, who was the next. Greg Voytovich of Cheektowaga won two in a row and Dolan won four before losing to Brandon Korczykowski of East Amherst.
Dolan (4-2) has the most wins on the show so far. Eaker, Kinyon, and Voytovich are all 2-1. Zasowski took a 2-0 record into Saturday’s show.
The high game so far is Kinyon’s 267 against Eaker in Week Two. Pohlman shot a 266 and Chris Labiak 264.
The April shows are being taped at Lucky Lanes in Fredonia.
Buffalo Bowling Tour
Pete Zmozynski of Depew won last Sunday’s Buffalo Bowling Tour stop at The Edge, defeating former USBC Open and All-Events champion Mike Rose Jr. of Rochester, 198-190, in the final match.
On his way to the title, Zmozynski beat Dana Voytovich of Cheektowaga, 225-215, Matt Zachowicz, 248-180, and Steve Kosut, 220-190.
Rose had defeated Sal Augugliaro of Alden, 214-203, Joe DiNardo 204-195, and Dan Melidona, 227-157.
Bob Vatagliano shot 210-256-227-199 for an 892 to lead the four-game qualifying round, but lost in the second round to Melidona, 202-201. Vatagliano defeated Tony Dolan, 227-158, in his first match. Dolan had to win a rolloff against Robert Graci to earn the 16th and final spot in the match-play bracket.
Dave Guindon of West Seneca won the first stop on the Tour three weeks ago, but was 29th in qualifying last week. After two events, Zmozynski leads the points race with 13. Guindon is next with 10.
Nick Miseno of Ballston Lake won the 26th New York State Masters Championship last weekend at Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego.
The 47-year-old special education teacher rallied past Bill Hasiotis of Rochester, 390-385, with strikes in the seventh through 10th frames then defeated Mark Scuderi of Rochester, 409-315, in the championship match.
There were 116 entries for the Masters, although the turnout of Western New York bowlers was light. Only Frank Bellavia Jr. of Niagara Falls made it to match play from the WNY entry. Bellavia shot 1,004 in qualifying, then lost his two-games total pinfall match to Miseno, 393-367.
The tournament paid out $9,300 in prize money to the 24 match play finalists. Miseno collected $2,000 for winning.
The New York State USBC Association has three major events coming up. The entry deadline for the Queens Championship on April 16 at AMF Empire Lanes in Rochester is Wednesday. WNY will be well represented.
Entries for the Women’s Championship in Rochester (April 9-15) will close on Friday unless extended. About 410 teams have signed up already. The team event will be at AMF Dewey Garden Lanes and singles and doubles at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes.
The Open Championship will run April 16 through May 15 at AMF Pin-O-Rama Lanes in Utica. There are 120 teams signed up.