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New Ball Makes Big Difference by Bob Weiner

BJ Rucinski knows the ins and outs of ball drilling as much as anyone, so when he finds the right weapon with the right shot, look out.

Using a new Roto Grip Hyper Cell that he just recently drilled up, Rucinski fired back-to-back 800s last week at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Filling in for Hugo McGroty in the Sportsman’s Majors on Monday night, he fired a 262, 277 and a 300 for a career-high 839. He followed that up with a 278, 258 and another 300 in the Sportsman’s Tuesday Nite Classic the next night.

Rucinski, 38, who is employed as a print/copy center salesman during the day, also works part-time with co-proprietor Bob Tedesco Jr. at the Sportsman’s Bowl pro shop several evenings.

“I used the same ball for both of the 800s. I didn’t want to put it down,” said Rucinski. “I just recently switched to Roto Grip equipment after using Track equipment for several years. I made the switch after talking to [two-time Joe Donato Scratch Singles champion] Mike Rose before going to nationals.”

On Monday night, Rucinski bowled on lanes 13 and 14 against Tedesco’s team.

“That made it a little more interesting,” he said. “Bobby and I have been working together in the pro shop for about eight years now. We’re basically partners. I love working in the pro shop. That’s the fun part, checking the layouts and drilling the ball up different ways. I do it for a hobby.”

On Monday night, Rucinski recorded the final 20 consecutive strikes, while the next night, his 278 included a pair of pesky 10-pins.

“I had to bowl more inside Tuesday night, because we were bowling the second shift,” he said. “I usually roll the ball from the 15th board out to the ninth or 10th board. I’m usually in around the third arrow, but sometimes I have to move in around the fourth arrow.”

Rucinski, who also bowls Friday nights at Sunset Recreation with his father, Bill, has 17 800 triples and 21 perfect games to his credit. He also has 18 299 games and two 298s, along with a 295, 296 and 297.

“I’m averaging about 229 at Sunset and 239 at Sportsman’s,” he said. “The ball hooks a lot more at Sunset, so I can’t even use my newer stuff there. I’ve got to use lower-end equipment with a weaker drill pattern.”

Rucinski, who coaches the Mohonasen High School junior varsity team and helps out Tedesco with the sectional champion Warriors’ varsity, dabbles in tournaments, but family obligations prevent him from competing every weekend.

“I travel with Hugo [McGroty], Mark Hilton, Billy Carl and a bunch of other guys to the nationals, and this week we’re going to the Green Mountain Open. There’s about 10 of us guys who travel together,” he said. “I’ve also competed in some Huck Finn tournaments. I bowled with my 86-year-old grandmother in the Huck Finn mixed doubles. But I’ve got a little 5-year-old girl, so I don’t want to be gone every weekend.”

(courtesy: The Daily Gazette)

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