John Szczerbinski went undefeated in his final five matches Tuesday night and earned a place in the finals of the U.S. Open at Southpoint Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The 28-year-old North Tonawanda bowler went 6-1-1 in the last round of matches including a sensational tie at 279 against amateur Arturo Quintero of Mexico.
What clinched the final spot in Wednesday night's five-bowler stepladder finals (CBS Sports Network, 8 p.m.) for Szczerbinski was a 238-162 rout of Ronnie Russell in their position round match, knocking Russell off the stepladder.
The 28-year-old right-hander from North Tonawanda scored match-play victories over Jason Belmonte (213-198), Francois Lavoie (211-210), Rhino Page (219-198), Kristopher Prather (249-198), Andres Gomez (218-185) and Russell. His only loss in the round was to 19-year-old Anthony Simonsen, the USBC Masters champion, (234-190).
Szczerbinski will face No. 4 qualifier Shawn Maldonado of Houston in Wednesday's first stepladder match. At 30, Maldonado is the oldest of the five finalists. The winner will face No. 3 seed Simonsen. Lavoie sits in the No. 2 spot. Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., went 20-4 and totaled 13,467 pins is at the top of the stepladder.
Overall, Szczerbinski was 16-7-1 in match play and had 12,877 grand total pinfall.
Brad Angelo finished in tie for 14th, but had an eventful final round. The veteran pro from Lockport outdueled Brad Miller of Raytown, Mo., with a 300 game. Miller shot 279. Angelo went 4-4 in his last eight matches and was 12-12 overall with a total pinfall of 12,379.
Szcerbinski will be seeking his first PBA Tour victory but will have to defeat four opponents too get it.