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Published: Monday, 12/16/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Magical game honored as nation’s best for season

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

It didn’t take Roy Hutcheison and his bowling teammates long to figure out an October night in 2012 was not like any other local bowling league outing they'd ever experienced.

The opening frame for the five-man group named Shotmaker's Pro Shop produced five consecutive strikes made by Steve Alexander, 48, Kevin Alexander, 22, Tom Hill, 50, Chris Hetrick, 30, and the 55-year-old Hutchieson.

The fast start at Jug's Bowling Center continued into the second frame and resulted in five more strikes to give them 10 consecutive strikes.

The sound of pins exploding and scattering basically continued for the rest of the night on the two lanes they were assigned to play on that evening. Before the string of strikes ended, the five avid bowlers had combined for 38 consecutive strikes.

It wasn't until they had reached the eighth frame when someone finally had to stare down the lane at a pin still standing following a roll of a ball.

By the end of the night, the team had combined for a team score of 1,384 for the game. It averaged out to a 277 per game average for each bowler.

The eventful night on Oct. 11, 2012, at Jug's resulted in Shotmaker's Pro Shop tallying the nation's highest team score for one game for the 2012-13 bowling season. Their feat has been recognized by the United States Bowling Congress.

"When all the dust settled on that night, we saw we shot [1,384]," Hutcheison said. "We knew it was good, but we just didn't know how good."

They received a plaque from the USBC on Nov. 21. There's been discussion of Jug's putting a plaque in its trophy case to recognize the memorable event.

Frankly, the group was made up of some veteran bowlers with impressive bowling resumes. All have bowling averages better than 200. All, except Kevin Alexander, son of Steve Alexander, have bowled multiple 300 games, with Hill having bowled a perfect score 46 times.

Nevertheless, their record night came during the only season in which the five friends played together as a team for a whole league season. Scheduling conflicts and commitments with other teams have them not playing together this season.

"It was team chemistry because you can take the five best bowlers and not win all the time," Hutcheison said. "There are a lot better bowlers in this city.

"It was camaraderie and having fun."

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302, or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.



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