Andrew Vogel came three strikes away from perfection Sunday. Shooting a 279-scratch game, a 291 with a 12-pin handicap, to win the Best of the House September Champion’s title.
Vogel defeated second seed Morgan Manzi in the title match of the stepladder final at AMF Kissimmee Lanes, 291-245.
Although Manzi stayed clean throughout the game, little could be done as Vogel’s two-handed, lefty, power shot, crushed the rack nine consecutive times, bringing him three strikes and one frame away from a perfect 300 game.
The first ball of the 10th came in high to the pocket, leaving the 6-pin standing.
“I knew I rushed it a little bit,” Vogel said of his first offering in the 10th frame. “That’s why I left the 6-pin, I pulled it.”
Vogel picked up the spare and added a final strike for his 279-scratch score.
“Andrew was on fire,” second place winner Morgan Manzi said of his title match. “It’s hard to beat some one on fire like that.”
Manzi, who was the second-place seed in the tournament, played his role of spoiler to perfection, eliminating the possibility of a Vogel sibling rivalry title match by dispatching Andrew’s brother Tanner Vogel in the semi-final game, 251-214.
Tanner, who came out of the fourth-place seed, defeated last month’s champion, Justin Ramsey in the first match of the day 222-159, then narrowly took out third seed Geri Rouse 248-239 in the second match before running into Manzi.
With 41 pins of handicap, Manzi’s 204 left Tanner with very little room for error because of his 221 average and no handicap.
“Morgan is a fierce competitor,” Vogel said. “(With a handicap) it could go either way. Bowling out here, scratch, is going to be tough, 214 may seem like I put up a good game, but I really didn’t.”
In the prior match, Tanner went into the 10th frame with a very real possibility of losing the match as Geri Rouse needed a double and good count in the final game to slip by him.
A pocket hit that left a split ended that opportunity after Rouse put strikes together in the 8th, 9th, and first shot in the 10th.
“I had (Tanner) sweating, I wanted to work him up, and I did that,” Rouse said. “I’ll take that as a “W” for me.”
Rouse placed third in the qualifying for both August and September, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
“I’ll always compete,” she said. “It’s fun and its with good people.”
Rounding out the field, August’s champion, Justin Ramsey took 5th place in September after a series of bad leaves, including a couple of splits, took him out of his match with Tanner fairly early.
“(My performance) was pretty bad,” Ramsey said. “I had some opens early, and I just couldn’t bounce back. You can’t leave opens against (these folks), you can’t come back from that. But I’ll try again next month.”
The mini tournament is open to league bowlers at AMF Kissimmee Lanes and qualifying for the October finals begins this week.
SEE TOURNAMENT RULES AND INFORMATION HERE