PIKEVILLE, Ky. – A slow start was the difference on Saturday morning as University of Pikeville bowler Lucas Hohnstein was eliminated from the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championship.
Hohnstein fell to Joe Steiner, a junior from Midland University 195-181 in the semifinals of the tournament.
Hohnstein, a freshman from Boise, Idaho, who sports a three-inch Mohawk, was open in three of the first five frames before a furious rally put pressure on Steiner down the stretch.
Steiner talked about the difference in the lanes as the game progressed. “All those people in there bring on a lot more pressure,” he said, referring to the lane setup for the television taping. “The right lane tightened as the game progressed and I gave Lucas a chance to get back in it.”
Hohnstein said the setup, with a jam-packed arena featuring not only seating behind the bowlers but also along the lanes, wasn’t the major issue. “All year long it’s so loud when we’re bowling,” he said, referring to the packed action both on the lanes and in the venues. “Then you get here and it’s so quiet. I don’t think anybody’s used to bowling in complete quiet like that.”
Steiner, the anchor bowler for Midland and a native of North Conway, N.H., started out like a house afire with four straight strikes and five in the first six frames.
Meanwhile, Hohnstein was open in frames 2, 4 and 5, and after a split in the fifth frame caused him to leave a pin was behind 129-65.
Things changed after that. While Hohnstein was able to double in 6 and 7, Steiner struck in six and then had splits in frames 7-8-9 to open the door.
When Hohnstein struck in the ninth, Steiner again opened and needed a 20 count to insure the win in the 10th. He left two pins standing but picked up the spare. With Hohnstein needing him to leave two pins to give him a chance to win or one for a tie, Steiner blasted a strike to secure the win.