Baker, a four-time PBA50 Player of the Year, defeated fellow Hall of Famer and PBA50 Tour rookie Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., 290-245, in the title match at Harvest Park Bowl which was also his first win of the season. In the first six tournaments of the 2014 season each has been won by a PBA Hall of Famer.
“The whole day I had to rely on my equipment,” said the 59-year-old Baker who also owns 10 PBA Tour wins. “I must have used five or six balls today and the ball I used in the championship match I didn’t even use all day.
“I was pretty fortunate to be able to bowl for the title,” he continued. “In the round of 16 I was down 2-0 and had to battle back to win the next three games to pull it out. I was having a lot of trouble leaving 10 pins on really good shots so it got pretty frustrating.”
Ironically Baker avenged a championship match loss to Bohn in the Brentwood Classic PBA Tour tournament in 1998 where Bohn beat Baker 239-222 for the title.
“We were talking about that and the one thing I remember about that match is I left a big split that cost me a chance to win the tournament,” Baker said. “Naturally I was hoping history wasn’t going to repeat itself.”
With his win, Baker moves into a tie for fourth on the PBA50 Tour career titles list with Gene Stus. John Handegard leads with 14 career titles with Gary Dickinson and Dale Eagle tied for second with 12 titles each.
In the semifinal round, Baker advanced to the championship match by defeating Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli, 228-195, and Bohn defeated five-time PBA Tour winner Eric Forkel of Las Vegas, 242-198.
Bohn and Monacelli were trying for their second titles of the season while Forkel was trying for his first career PBA50 Tour title.
Two-time defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s quest for a third consecutive Northern California Classic win was thwarted with a 2-0 defeat in the round-of-8 best-of-three match against Forkel earlier in the day.
The next stop for the PBA50 Tour will be Caveman Bowl in Grants Pass, Ore., June 20-23 for the seventh stop of the 2014 season.
PBA50 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CLASSIC PRESENTED BY MOTIV
Wednesday’s Final Results
At Harvest Park Bowl
Tom Baker, King, N.C. ($8,000) def. Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J. ($4,500), 290-245.
Semifinal Round (one-game matches, losers earn $2,500)
Bohn def. Eric Forkel, Las Vegas, 242-198.
Baker def. Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 228-195.
Round of 8 (best-of-three games, losers eliminated, earn $1,700)
Baker def. Rick Francis, Linden, Calif., 2-0.
Forkel def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 2-0.
Bohn def. Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio, 2-1.
Monacelli def. Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan., 2-1.
Round of 16 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,300)
Goebel def. Ron Mohr, Las Vegas, 3-1.
Monacelli def. Noel Vazquez, Sacramento, Calif., 3-0.
Francis def. Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 3-1.
Baker def. Darron Peters, Murrietta, Calif., 3-2.
Bohn def. Chris Keane, Cape Coral, Fla., 3-1.
Webb def. Nick Morgan, Sacramento, Calif., 3-1.
Williams def. Kenny Parks, Hammond, Ind., 3-2.
Forkel def. Johnny Petraglia, Jackson, N.J., 3-1.
Round of 24 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,100)
Goebel def. Dick Baker, Henderson, Nev., 3-2.
Vazquez def. Don Breeden, Clive, Iowa, 3-1.
McCordic def. Mark McCreary, Livermore, Calif., 3-1.
Peters def. Terry Metzner, Kentwood, Mich., 3-2.
Keane def. Tim Pierce, Portland, Ore., 3-0.
Morgan def. Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore., 3-2.
Parks def. Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3-1.
Forkel def. Thomas Ream, Tampa, Fla., 3-0.
Round of 31 (best-of-five games, losers eliminated, earn $1,000)
Vaquez def. Tracy Teeters, Salem, Ore., 3-1.
McCreary def. Michael Henry, Brunswick, Ohio, 3-1.
Pierce def. Rodney Garrick, San Francisco, 3-1.
Morgan def. a-Sam Carter, BenLomond, Calif., 3-1.
Parks def. Frank Gallo, Jacksonville, Fla., 3-1.
Metzner def. Rohn Morton, Vancouver, Wash., 3-2.
Forkel def. Mark Scime, Winter Garden, Fla., 3-2.