Triple-header 300 Games Beat Odds


December 01, 1991|By Donald G. Vitek

What are the odds of having three 300 games bowled over a weekend?

What are the odds of each of the three Thunderhead centers operatedfrom Westminster having a 300 game?

What are the odds of having three 300 games shot on consecutive days?

Well, it happened.

First, Bruce Day bowls a perfect game at Thunderhead Lanes in Gettysburg, Pa., on Nov. 16.

A day later, Jose Lagunas rolls 12 straight strikes for his 300 game at ThunderheadLanes in Taneytown.

Frank Wood completes the hat trick Nov. 18 with an ace at Thunderhead in Westminster.

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None had ever rolled a 300 game before.

Each bowler comes from a different section of the country -- andin Lagunas' case, a different country.

Each of the three is a casual bowler, none with an average over 200, who competes in one or twoleagues a week and an occasional tournament.

Day does most of hisbowling at the Midway Center in Carlisle, Pa., where he bowls in theWednesday Men's Triples. Day, who live in Aspers, Pa., carries a 170average using a 16-pound Pink Hammer bowling ball and has been bowling about seven years.

On Nov. 16, a friend mentioned that Thunderhead in Gettysburg had a tournament.

Day had been bowling well thisseason; earlier in his Wednesday Men's Triples League, he threw 11 strikes in the first 11 frames and then "was pretty light with the last ball" while rolling a 296


So off he went to Thunderheadin Gettysburg.

"I guess having come so close just a few weeks agohelped me with the 300 game," Day said. "I made sure that last ball wasn't light this time."

Which worked, giving Day his first career300 game.

"I enjoy bowling because it's challenging," Day said. "But it sure can be frustrating sometimes."

Lagunas, born in MexicoCity, has been in the United States since 1972 and makes his home inTaneytown. He's a pressman for Sweetheart Cup in Owings Mills, Baltimore County, and carries a 171 average in the Sunday Bucks and Does League at Thunderhead Taneytown.

On Nov. 17, Lagunas threw his perfect game; it's only the fifth 300 ever shot at the center.

Lagunas, who has a high series of 659, throws a 16-pound Columbia White Dot bowling ball.

He rolled his 300 in the first game of the Bucks andDoes League that night. Understandably, his second game was a littleoff (159), but he rallied to finish his set with a 180 game.

Yeah, it's a little tough to concentrate after you throw a perfect game.

"I still can't believe that it happened," Lagunas said several days after the event. "I just can't believe I did it."

Wood hails from Rockland County across the Hudson River from New York City and now lives in Sykesville with his wife, Diane.

He started bowling about12 years ago and carries a 183 average with a high set of 670. Before that fateful Monday, his best game was a 267.

"About five years ago, I switched to a fingertip ball," Wood said. "At first, I was ready to throw it away, but after about six months I started to get usedto its big hook."

Frank, an electronic technician at Konica Business Machines, was throwing a fingertip 16-pound Black Hammer ball thenight he made Thunderhead Westminster history -- he became the firstever to throw a 300 game at the center.

Wood, a pretty good fresh-water fisherman who's proud of the 19-pound catfish he caught last spring near Lake Champlain in New York state, said, "I guess, like Walter Mitty, I always dreamed of a 300 game, but never really expected it to happen."

Certainly, the first game that Monday night didn't indicate any high scores to come -- it was a lowly 122. Wood still doesn't want to mention the last game of that set, but he's willing to talk about the middle game any time you're interested.

"I almost lost it in the seventh frame," Wood said. "That ball went Brooklyn forthe strike. I made sure from then on that I was in the pocket. I buried the last three balls."

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