Rash to return after outburst

Beltway Classic winner will play in Baltimore tournament this week

Bowling

December 05, 2007|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,Sun Reporter

Sean Rash wants to set the record straight: The two-year PBA Tour veteran has no beef with Danny Wiseman or Baltimore fans.

Rash, 25, is the cocky upstart who defeated the Baltimore resident, 256-236, in the semifinals in front of Wiseman's home crowd last year en route to winning the 2006 Beltway Classic.

The Wichita, Kan., native then caused a minor stir when he yelled out to the crowd, "Who's your hometown fan now?" The comment was heard on television and quickly became a hot topic on the sport's message boards. Rash said it was simply a case of him being misunderstood.

"The thing with Danny last year, the media and everybody took it and twisted it the wrong way," said Rash, who took control of their match after Wiseman failed to convert a routine spare in the sixth frame. "Danny knew exactly what I meant. I was trying to get his fans to cheer me on the next match."

It's doubtful that Wiseman's fans will be cheering Rash this year when the tournament, now called the Lumber Liquidators Championship, gets under way, beginning with today's qualifying rounds and running through Sunday's final, which will be taped and broadcast on ESPN in prime time.

"I don't expect too many people to be clapping for him," said Wiseman, who will be looking for his 12th career PBA title this week.

Unpleasant reception or not, Rash said he's looking forward to being back in Baltimore to defend his title.

"I'm rolling the ball well. My confidence is pretty high right now," he said.

His overall game has caused some of the tour's elite to stop and take notice.

"I like his attitude," said PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, who is no stranger to brash behavior, being the creator of the infamous "crotch chop" maneuver he used to unveil after a big strike. "He'll do what it takes to win. He reminds me of me."

Rash is content with downplaying his reputation while looking to soothe any residual bad feelings on the part of Baltimore fans.

That's not me; I don't do a lot of trash talking," Rash said. "Either way, it's over and done with, and we're moving on."

patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com

PBA TOUR

What -- 2007 Lumber Liquidators Championship

When -- Wednesday-Sunday

Where -- AMF Country Club Lanes 9020 Pulaski Highway Baltimore

Purse -- $180,000

2006 winner -- Sean Rash

Notable -- Baltimore native Danny Wiseman will be trying for his 12th career PBA title. He lost to Rash last year in the semifinals.

Tickets -- www.etix.com

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