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Bowling: Southwest suburban men record perfect match at Palos Lanes

Tony Petraitis (left) Mike Brice. | Tony Baranek/For Sun-Times Media

Tony Petraitis (left) and Mike Brice. | Tony Baranek/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 7, 2014 6:15AM



Mike Brice, of Orland Hills, and Tony Petraitis, of Homer Glen, played a pretty intriguing game of “Can You Top This” on Dec. 23 at Palos Lanes.

Frame after frame, strike after strike, they matched one another on lanes 7 and 8 while their respective teams in their Monday Night Men’s league went at it in a back-and-forth battle.

Brice’s team won by a few pins.

The personal showdown, however, ended in a tie. Both went off the sheet with 300 games.

For Brice, 47, it was the first of his career.

For Petraitis, 25, it was his sixth.

Total strangers before that night, they’ll share a pretty rare bowling experience.

“I’m sure there are records out there where people on the same team have done it back to back,” Petraitis said. “But I don’t know about different teams, though. I’ve never seen that.”

Neither has Dave Knafl, the manager at Palos Lanes.

“I’ve had 300 games shot the first game by different teams but not against each other,” he said. “I’ve been here for 34 years and I’ve never seen that happen before.”

Brice has been bowling for 30 years, and prior to Dec. 23 had a career high of 279. He was averaging 210 the night of his perfect game.

“Honestly, I can usually throw a lot of strikes in a row, but nothing to that extent,” he said. “As the game went on we were just watching each other bowl.

“I would throw a strike and he would throw a strike, but I really wasn’t thinking about it (matching 300s) until the 10th frame, when everyone started being nice to me and started letting me go ahead of them.”

He wasn’t a cool customer, Brice said with a smile.

“I was feeling pretty good until the 10th frame. Then I started getting really nervous. On my 12th ball my legs were shaking.”

On the next approach, Petraitis was watching, waiting — and thinking.

“He shot his 12th one about 30 seconds before I went up there for my first ball in the 10th,” Petraitis said. “I was like, ‘Man if this guy gets it, I’m going to be really mad if I don’t get it.’

“When he shot it I said, ‘Congratulations. If I shoot one it will be a shame that one team has to lose.’ ”

Petraitis buried the first two, leaving him one strike away from creating the perfect match.

“I was feeling pretty good,” he said. “I was just hoping it would carry. That’s the name of the game in this house. You can hit the pocket all day and leave nothing but 10 pins.

“I got a little lucky on the last one. It cut in a little bit but it still slammed the pocket.”

Brice went on to shoot a 184 and 265 to complete a 749 series. Petraitis finished with a 224 and 233 for a 757 series.



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