It was far from his best series of the tournament but a 572 set by Frank Bellavia Jr. of Niagara Falls was more than enough to get him to today’s winners bracket final in the 51st George A. Obenauer Masters Tournament at AMF Airport Lanes on Saturday night.
Bellavia remained unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament with his 572-543 triumph over Jeff Walsh of Cheektowaga. His high game was only 214 but he scored better than Walsh in all three games for his 29-pin victory.
He will face Mike Zarcone of Tonawanda in the 1 p.m. winners bracket matchup today.
Zarcone shot 203, 221 and 202 in a 626-609 victory over defending champion Joe Ciccone of Cheektowaga. The bowlers were tied at 424 going into the third game. Ciccone slipped to 185 against Zarcone’s 202.
Ciccone then survived a close call, outscoring Matt Zasowski of Kenmore by seven pins in the third game to pull out a 597-593 victory in an elimination match while Pete Zmozynski of Depew also stayed alive with a 591-536 triumph over Jeff Walsh of Cheektowaga.
So the Final Four for today is Zmozynski and Ciccone, who will bowl the elimination match at 1 p.m. while Bellavia and Zarcone are going at it.
The winner of the Zmozynski-Ciccone match will face the loser of Bellavia-Zarcone at 2 p.m. The winner of that match will play for the title against whomever comes out of the winner’s bracket final.
Mike Sadowy of Clarence Center shot the night’s high series in a 682-626 triumph over Jason Ciliberto of Gasport. However, Sadowy was eliminated by Zmozynski in the next round, 666-632, while Zasowski was defeating Ken Ball of Avon, 605-552.
Steve Mamon of Williamsville, Tony Dolan of West Seneca and Gary Kinyon of Lockport also were eliminated in the first round of matches on Saturday.
Bellavia shot 1,784 to lead the qualifying and won the Pete Parisi award, as his total was 84 pins better than Ciccone’s, who is seeking his fourth Obenauer title.
If Bellavia wins, he would be only the second top qualifier to go on to the championship. The first was Ryan Ciminelli two years ago.
Bellavia shot 608, 613 and 620 in his match-play victories before Saturday’s 572.
Ciccone, who has experience on the PBA Tour and was a collegiate All-American at Erie Community College and Arizona State, shot a 746, which included a 279 game, in his Friday night victory over Ball.
The 746 was the high match-game series in the tournament so far.