This time, Juneau bowler Carmine DiCostanzo knew what to expect as he stepped to the line with a shot to bowl a perfect game of 300 during Wednesday Night Men's Handicap League play at Channel Bowl.
DiCostanzo, who threw a 300 during the Juneau City Tournament during the 1996-97 season, was expecting the weak legs and nervous tics. But he didn't let that bother him as he threw a strike right into the pocket. DiCostanzo had his 12th straight strike and the second perfect game of his career.
"The last ball was very hard," DiCostanzo said. "The legs go and it gets very hard to walk to the line. For me, the legs get shaky and it's hard to throw. That's the hardest shot. The first time I was lucky. I had a terrible shot, but everything fell for me."
The perfect game came in DiCostanzo's first game of league play for his Liquor Barrel team, and he had company among the first-game high rollers from his teammates. Pete Thibodeau threw a 280, with only a spare in his second frame preventing another perfect game, and Jay Druyvestein bowled a 256. DiCostanzo finished his three-game series with a score of 741, following up his 300 with scores of 216 and 225.
Since there are an odd number of teams in the Wednesday Night Men's Handicap League, DiCostanzo said his team was competing against what he calls "The Blanks," where one team bowls against itself and needs to have everyone score within 50 points of their averages in order to win that week. DiCostanzo said bowling against "The Blanks" helped him get into a better rhythm than if his Liquor Barrel team had faced a real opponent on Wednesday.
"The pace was quicker and it wasn't as long between shots," DiCostanzo said.
The 300 game came in Lanes 1 and 2, away from the spotlight at Channel Bowl, so DiCostanzo said there were several league bowlers who came up later and said they didn't realize he had a chance at a perfect score. DiCostanzo said he offered to buy his teammates a round of drinks after his 300, but only a couple of them took him up on the offer.
For rolling a 300, DiCostanzo picked up some extra cash. He earned $300 from Channel Bowl owner Dutch Knight, plus there are local merchants who sponsor about another $650 in prize money when someone bowls a perfect game. He'll also get a ring from the American Bowling Congress once his 300 game is certified.
After the game, DiCostanzo's teammates and several other bowlers in the league came up with a list of about 20 names of bowlers who have rolled 300 scores at Channel Bowl. DiCostanzo's is the first this season, but there were five 300s when he rolled his first perfect score.
"I think I was pretty lucky," DiCostanzo said. "I've had nights where I was bowling better. I'd throw the ball in the pocket, but I don't quite carry the shot and I'll leave the 10 pin or I'll miss the spare. I figured I'd never bowl a 300 again. I've had two chances at it, and I haven't blown it yet."
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.