Chris Bowlin has had big nights on the bowling lanes before.
Before March 12, the 33-year-old right-hander from Hanover owned 11 perfect games and a high series of 846.
Still, he never enjoyed a night like the one he had on March 12 at Hanover Bowling Centre. Bowlin turned in a career-best performance when he rolled games of 300, 300 and 257 for an 857 series.
After putting together back-to-back perfect games to start the evening in the Tuesday Industrial League, the possibility of setting the house record (879 by Josh Coleman) and county record (889 by Jerred Poff) were within his reach.
"I couldn't believe I started the night with back-to-back 300s," said Bowlin, who averaged 231 last season. "Those 300s gave me four in the past three weeks. I've never had a stretch like that."
Bowlin said he didn't feel any pressure as he stepped to the line needing one more strike for 24 in a row.
"I just told myself to keep my elbow in and throw a good shot," he said.
His strike streak, however, came to an end to start the third game. Although he spared, he still had a chance for the county record, if he struck out. That possibility, however, vanished with a second spare.
The third frame crushed Bowlin's pursuit of the house record. He left the 10-pin, which he missed.
"It was disappointing to miss out on both the county and the house records," he said. "Any time you start with back-to-back 300s, you have a great chance for a record-setting performance."
After the disappointment of the third frame, Bowlin settled down. He reeled off the final nine strikes to close with a 257.
"I felt amazing," he said. "It was a super night."
Only a select group of York County bowlers have rolled a series as high or higher.
Despite his exciting performance, Bowlin had to get ready to work the third shift at ESAB.
"I wish I could have celebrated some," he said.
Perhaps he will be able to celebrate on another occasion. When asked his future goals, Bowlin said: "To roll a 900 series. Isn't that everyone's goal?"
Reach Barry Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was provided through the York Area Bowling Proprietors Association.