Barilar flirts with a 300

By on January 8, 2014

By:

BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com

, Staff Writer



Photo by Bruce Morganâ?©Warwick sophomore Austin Barilar carried a perfect game into the 10th frame before finishing with a career-best 286 on Dec. 20.

Austin Barilar was in a zone.

Ten balls, ten strikes in Warwick’s bowling match against McCaskey on Dec. 20.

As his chances for a 300 game got closer, on-lookers at Dutch Lanes stopped and took notice.

"On my 10th strike," Barilar said, "the whole crowd was clapping and cheering … that was really cool."

Unfortunately for the Warwick sophomore, despite a solid roll on his 11th ball, he left a 7–10 split, spoiling his hopes for perfection.

"I smiled at the end because it was a good run and all," Barilar remarked. "It was also kinda disappointing because I really wanted to get a 300."

Warrior coach Bill Bernstein said, "I really was (thinking 300). Everything he laid down was nice. In fact, his 11th ball was in the pocket – it was a little bit heavy, but he left a 7–10 split, which he didn’t really deserve."

Later, Barilar acknowledged that he wasn’t totally confident after releasing his 11th ball.

"It just felt a bit weird when I tossed it," he said.

Still, after dropping one of two pins on his 12th ball, Barilar ended up with a career-high 286 in the first game of his series.

"I just kept throwing the ball well and I just kept trying to copy it because it felt really good," said Barilar, whose previous best was a 266, which he rolled last summer.

In his next two games, he had scores of 203 and 233, for a total of 722. It was the first-ever 700 series for Barilar in his young career.

Of course, the tone was set with his red-hot start in the first game.

"Probably about my sixth or seventh strike, I was thinking about it already," Barilar said.

Those thoughts were still at the forefront of his mind as Barilar entered the 10th frame. No one would have blamed him if he was gripping the ball a little bit tighter at that point.

"The 10th frame, I’ve heard, is where a lot of people mess up," Barilar said, "so I was just kinda nervous that I was going to start off the 10th frame with something bad. I just felt more relaxed after that strike."

Bernstein could sense that as well.

"Once he threw the first one (in the 10th frame), you could kinda see him relax a little bit," Warwick’s skipper said. "Then he did throw a nice ball that 11th shot and it didn’t carry like it should have."

Despite falling just short of a 300 game, Barilar still made the WHS record book, recording Warwick’s first 700 since senior Zach Adams accomplished the feat last season.

"For (Austin) to come out as a sophomore and do that pretty early in the season … I think there are a lot of good things ahead for us this year. They’re not extremely common," Bernstein said of a 700 series. "In the league this year, we have a lot of good bowlers that are going to step up and have some 700 series. For our team, though, lately they’ve been few and far between, so it was great to see that."

Back at Dutch Lanes just one day later in the Snowroller Tournament, Barilar carried that momentum forward, rolling a team-best 683 – including a single-game high of 247 – in the qualifying round as the Warriors finished fourth out of 26 teams. With their team score of 3559, the Warwick keglers were one of six teams to go on to the championship brackets.

"His confidence level was obviously high," Bernstein said of Barilar. "And rolling at Dutch Lanes, that’s our home lane, so that always helps too. But you could just see in his whole demeanor of the day, he was still on that emotional high from his great night the night before and it just carried over to the next day. He’s just been on fire lately."

Freshmen Ben White (216-171-209) and Cole Snavely (187-194-152) were second and third with a 596 and 533, respectively, for the Warriors.

"Really good," Bernstein said. "I know Ben was a little disappointed in some of his scores for the day, but realistically, being a freshman, that’s his first experience in any kind of tournament like that, team or otherwise. I couldn’t have been happier. Both of those freshmen that were starting did really well considering the pressure for them never having been in that situation before."

Senior Brandi Whitmyer (175-149-162) chipped in with a 486 in the qualifying round, while junior Cody Souders (222-235) had a 457 in two games and junior Nic Skoronski added a one-game score of 143.

Plus, the Warriors finished with an impressive three-game total of 661 in the Baker series, with scores of 189-235-237.

"That’s a really good Baker score," Bernstein said. "Those three Baker games were the highest set we’ve ever rolled."

In the quarterfinals of the championship brackets, the 4th-seeded Warriors met 5th-seeded Pennridge and suffered a 2-1 loss. In the best-of-three Baker game format, the Rams took the first one, 182-169, then Warwick answered with a 243-194 decision to tie it.

"That middle game was actually the second-highest Baker game we have ever rolled as a team," Bernstein said.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, their run ended with a 209-184 loss in the third game. Warwick’s loss to the Rams, combined with 6th-seeded Wyomissing defeating 3rd-seeded Elizabethtown 2-0, gave the Warriors a sixth-place finish in the tournament.

Still, Bernstein was very pleased with the performance of his bowlers at the Snowroller.

"I thought it was great," he said. "I know they were a little disappointed in the outcome, but we have a relatively young team with not a ton of varsity experience. To do that well … that’s exactly where I thought we would be."

More BARILAR, page B-4

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