In promoting Mike Steinert as one of the best clutch bowlers in Baltimore, Susan Moses may be considered a little biased. After all, she is engaged to marry him in August.
But bias aside, Steinert is obviously one of the top duckpin bowlers in town. The 32-year-old driver-salesman for Mrs. Ihries Potato Chips finished second in the country last season in duckpin average. Jeff Pyles of Hyattsville was tops.
This year, Steinert has a good shot at being the best duckpin bowler in the country. In five duckpin leagues, Steiner carries an average of at least 152. His high average is 154.
Three weeks ago, in Stanton, R.I., Steinert went up against Pyles in the Duckpin Pro Championship at Legion Lanes. He needed a mark and two pins in the 10th frame to beat Pyles. He got them.
"[Pyles] is the No. 1 bowler in the country, and Mike beat him," said Moses, who carries a 118 duckpin average. "There are times when he's needed a double in the 10th frame, and he's done it. He's an excellent clutch bowler."
At 6 feet 5 and 190 pounds, Steinert looks more like a baseball pitcher than a duckpin bowler.
"He can really throw it out. He's like Nolan Ryan, that's how fast he can throw the ball down there, and he's accurate," Moses said.
Steinert has been clocked in the 40-mph range in duckpins, and at 27 mph in tenpins -- but he says it's not the speed that makes him successful.
In recent years, he has improved his accuracy and gotten his temper under control. Plus he learned a good lesson from a duckpin television commentator -- don't loft the ball too far down the lane.
Since he started laying the ball down earlier, he has noticed fewer splits and more strikes, he said. "When you get it past the arrows [in the air] you lose a lot of your power on the ball," he said.
Rolling Road Golf Club league
Rita Frick, the secretary for the Rolling Road Golf Club League at Fair Lanes Rolling Road, wrote to praise one of the league's clutch bowlers, Tony Petroniero.
Recently, Petroniero, a 110-average bowler, shot games of 166, 120 and 133 to help his team take first place for the entire league season.
"He consistently comes up with a good game when they need it," said Frick, no slouch on the lanes herself. On April 15, she had the high game for the entire league season, a 223. She had nine marks, including five strikes in a row.
"It was exciting," she said. "I really don't know what happened. . . . The ball was just going in and they all were falling down."
Top-seed Adkinson wins ADT
Ralph Adkinson, a 140-average duckpin bowler, edged Tom Adelung of Pasadena, 163-159, in the weekly Amateur Duckpin Tour last weekend at Fair Lanes Pikesville. For first place, Adkinson earned $1,000.
Adkinson, 34, of Laurel, has been bowling in the ADT since 1990, but this was his first championship. He has been bowling for 19 years and has a high set of 559 and a high game of 244.
For second place, Adelung earned $600. Tim Gannon of Edgewater finished third and won $300; Paul Kirby of Williamsport won $150 for fourth, and Jim Reisberg of Sykesville got $100 for fifth.
There were 117 entries last weekend, and ADT organizers paid out $2,975 in prize money. For information on future lTC tournaments, call (410) 426-0440. The tour is open to men and women, and each bowler gets handicap.
ABC to expand baker format
Team bowling evidently is making a comeback. The National Team Challenge, a baker format bowling series of tournaments that began last summer, is doing so well that the American Bowling Congress and Prime network have decided to increase the number of stops this coming year from 12 to 15.
In addition, nine foreign countries will conduct their own qualifying tournaments and send teams to the Grand Championship in Reno, Nev., in late June 1994. That tournament will determine the best bowling team in the world.
Speaking of which, in just a few weeks, the National Team Challenge will be held at Country Club Lanes in Middle River June 12-13. It is the last Team Challenge stop before the Grand Championship June 25-27 in Reno.
If you know an interesting bowler, or have an good bowling story to tell, please call me at (410) 494-2944, or write to The Sun, 1300 Bellona Ave., Lutherville, 21093. You can also fax letters or scores to (410) 494-2916. Please enclose a name and phone number for verification.