Crown Point’s Billy Robinson wins second P-T men’s bowling tourney title
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent May 27, 2012 11:16PM
Bill Robinson of Crown Point bowls during the Post-Tribune Men's Awards Bowling Tournament at Stardust Bowl II Sunday, May 27, 2012 in Hobart, Ind. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:48AM
HOBART — Well known across the region as a bowler who can finish in the clutch, Billy Robinson admitted that the 10th frame was tough for him this past league season.
But in the championship match of Sunday’s Post-Tribune Men’s Awards Tournament at Stardust II, Robinson proved once again his ability to perform under pressure.
Needing a strike on the first ball of the 10th against Sammy Krucek, Robinson delivered two big strikes to bag a thrilling 221-212 victory for his second Post-Tribune title — he won his first in 2004. Having qualified second, Robinson remained in the zone with a 255-201 victory over John Verbich to reach the final.
“At that moment I just wanted to go out there and execute a good shot and hope it carries,” Robinson said. “I was kind of fishing out there and a few shots had come in high. I just had to execute and pray to God that it carries.”
Robinson had to deliver those big shots on a lane that he had just settled for a 9-spare in the ninth frame.
“I knew I threw it bad before I let it go (in the ninth),” Robinson admitted. “I didn’t get it out like I needed to and I left the 10-pin.”
Robinson said that the victory was a sweet end to a league season that saw him shoot five 800 series and three 300 games, which are low numbers for him in recent years.
“This feels great,” he said. “I couldn’t finish a 10th frame this season in league play and I shot all my 800s the hard way. So this win today is sweet.”
Actually, Robinson had four 300 games after he rolled one on Sunday during qualifying. That’s the second for him in P-T Tournament play. His first came in the championship game of his 2004 victory. He’s the second man to have two career 300s in P-T tourneys (Jay Bridges had back-to-back perfect games in his 2003 victory).
For Krucek, he caught fire in the third frame after an open in the second, rolling five straight strikes to put the pressure on Robinson to strike — which he did with a turkey between the fifth and seventh. But an open by Krucek in the eighth opened the door for Robinson.
It’s the second runner-up in three years for Krucek, a former Calumet College bowler.
“I made a few marginal shots down the stretch,” Krucek said. “The spare ball came off my hand bad — I kind of messed up there. I made a good adjustment in the ninth frame and I had to settle for a spare. It was the same thing in the 10th, and it didn’t work out again. The lanes were changing a little bit on me and I guess it got me at the wrong time.”