EJ Tackett solidifies hold on Xtra Frame Storm Cup points lead with second-place finish
WILMINGTON, Del. (Aug. 20, 2017) – Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., used a string of seven strikes to defeat reigning PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 257-223, to win the Professional Bowlers Association’s Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic title Sunday at Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment Center for his 12th career PBA Tour title and first of the 2017 season.
Rash, who got a break by carrying a crossover strike in the middle of his string, earned $15,000 and 25 points in the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup points race, which moved him into fifth place heading into the season’s final event next weekend. Tackett solidified his hold on first place in the Storm Cup points race with 83 points, nine ahead of England’s Dom Barrett.
“EJ’s a great champion and he’s going to be for a long time,” Rash said of his opponent, noting his “Brooklyn” strike was a mistake.
“I got a little slow on that shot and grabbed it,” he said, “but I threw some good ones when I needed them. Winning never gets old.”
In the first stepladder match, Tackett escaped with a 206-204 win over Alex Cavagnaro of Massapequa, N.Y., when Cavagnaro left a 10 pin after striking on his first shot in the 10th frame. Cavagnaro, in his PBA Tour stepladder debut at age 33, was a member of the “Dead Money” team that won the PBA Team Challenge in Las Vegas in 2015. Tackett, who left three 7 pins on pocket hits – missing one of the spares in the fifth frame – struck out in his 10th frame to put the pressure on Cavagnaro to double in his half of the final frame.
In the semifinal match, Tackett started with three strikes and jumped out to a 45-pin lead when PBA Tour rookie Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., left 3-6-7-10 split in the fifth frame followed by the 2-8-10 in the sixth, failing to convert both. Despite missing a 2 pin spare in the seventh frame and a late four-strike rally by Anderson, Tackett raced away to a 223-200 victory.
The Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic was the sixth tournament in the seven-event PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup series that will award $50,000 in bonus prizes to the five points leaders. Behind Tackett and Barrett (74 points) in the race for the top five spots are Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash. (69); Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C. (59) and Rash (54). Tom Daugherty of Riverview, Fla., is five points behind Rash.
The Storm Cup series concludes with the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, next Saturday and Sunday. The entire tournament will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For Xtra Frame subscription information, visit xtraframe.tv.
PBA XTRA FRAME GENE CARTER’S PRO SHOP CLASSIC
Mid-County Bowling and Entertainment Center, Middletown, Del., Sunday
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., $15,000.
2, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $7,800.
3, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., $4,000.
4, Alex Cavagnaro, Massapequa, N.Y., $2,500.
Match One – Tackett def. Cavagnaro, 206-204.
Semifinal Match – Tackett def. Anderson, 223-200.
Championship – Rash def. Tackett, 257-223.
Final Match Play Standings (after 23 games, including match play bonus pins):
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