L.A. X Needs Overtime Frame to End Silver Lake Atom Splitters’ Bid for Fourth PBA League Elias Cup Title

by Bill Vint  |  Tuesday, July 16, 8:06 PM

PORTLAND, Maine ­– L.A. X, one of five teams that has never won a PBA League Elias Cup title, needed an overtime frame to eliminate the three-time Elias Cup winning Silver Lake Atom Splitters to headline Tuesday’s quarterfinal elimination round of the seventh annual PBA League Elias Cup competition at Bayside Bowl.

The defending champion Atom Splitters rolled past L.A. X in the first game of Tuesday’s second quarterfinal round match, 228-186, helped by four strikes by anchor bowler Chris Barnes, including all three in the 10th frame, and helped by a pair of open frames by L.A. X. But L.A. X, the No. 4 seeded team based on Monday’s eight-game seeding round, exploded for a 287-187 rout in game two to force the first one-ball sudden death roll-off of the 2019 championships.

L.A. X’s two-handed star, Australian Jason Belmonte, crumpled his rack of pins for a strike. Barnes then left a 2-10 split, ending the Atom Splitters’ hopes for a fourth Elias Cup.

In Tuesday’s first quarterfinal round match, the No. 8 seeded New York City KingPins knocked out the No. 1 qualifying team, Motown Muscle, 245-235 and 238-205 in the “race to 2 points” format. KingPins anchor Kyle Sherman struck out in the 10th frame to give New York City the 245-235 victory over the Motown Muscle in the first game, four strikes in four attempts across the two games by BJ Moore and Marshall Kent were key shots in completing the sweep.

Sherman, a non-PBA Tour title winner, was KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard’s surprise choice to anchor her team over 56-year-old PBA Hall of Famer and 37-time champion Pete Weber.

“(Kyle) had the best look (on the lane oiling pattern), he’s younger and it doesn’t take him long to get loose,” Dorin-Ballard said.

The KingPins, who won the inaugural Elias Cup in 2013, will meet L.A. X in Wednesday’s first semifinal round match.

In the third quarterfinal match, between two teams that have yet to win the Elias Cup, the No. 7 seeded Portland Lumberjacks jumped into the lead with a 233-219 win over the No. 2 Brooklyn Styles on the strength of a mid-game string of four strikes. The hometown favorites then cruised to a 257-195 victory in game two to clinch their berth in the semifinals.

The more experienced Dallas Strikers polished off the Philadelphia Hitmen in two games to claim the fourth berth in the semifinals. The No. 3 seeded Strikers, winners of two Elias Cups, started game one with three strikes and ended with five in a row in rolling to an easy 258-224 win over the No. 6 Hitmen. The Strikers then started game two with seven consecutive strikes in cruising to a 246-161 win and complete the sweep.

In the first six years of PBA League competition, the Atom Splitters (three titles), Dallas Strikers (two titles) and NYC KingPins are the only teams to hoist the Elias Cup. L.A. X and the hometown-favorite Portland Lumberjacks are the only teams remaining alive who have a chance to win the Elias Cup for the first time.

The PBA League’s live coverage on FS1 continues Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET when Tuesday’s winners advance to the semifinal round. The two finalists will bowl for the Elias Cup Thursday at 9 p.m.

Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, July 16 (all times are Eastern)
(Race to 2 Points Baker Team Format; losing teams each earned $25,000)

Quarterfinal Match One: No. 8 NYC KingPins (Darren Tang, Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, BJ Moore, Kyle Sherman) def. No. 1 Motown Muscle Motown Muscle (Josh Blanchard, AJ Chapman, Mykel Holliman, Anthony Simonsen, EJ Tackett), 2-0 (245-235, 238-205).

Quarterfinal Match Two: No. 4 L.A. X (Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Jakob Butturff, Stuart Williams, Jason Belmonte, Dick Allen) def. No. 5 Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Jesper Svensson, AJ Johnson, DJ Archer, Tom Daugherty, Chris Barnes), 2-1 (186-228, 287-187, 10-8 in one-ball roll-off).
Quarterfinal Match Three: No. 7 Portland Lumberjacks (Kyle Troup, Mitch Hupé, Ryan Ciminelli, Kris Prather, Wes Malott) def. No. 2 Brooklyn Styles (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Andres Gomez, Brad Angelo, Sean Rash, Rhino Page), 2-0 (233-219, 257-195).

Quarterfinal Match Four: No. 3 Dallas Strikers (Andrew Anderson, Norm Duke, Brad Miller, Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones) def. No. 6 Philadelphia Hitmen (Patrick Girard, Jake Peters, Matt Sanders, Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood), 2-0 (258-224, 246-161).

Semifinal Round Schedule (Wednesday, July 17, live on FS1)
9 p.m. – Semifinal Match One: New York City KingPins vs. L.A. X.
10 p.m. – Semifinal Match Two: Portland Lumberjacks vs. Dallas Strikers.

Elias Cup Championship Schedule (Thursday, July 18, live on FS1)
9 p.m. – Elias Cup Championship: Winner Semifinal One vs. Winner Semifinal Two