Suburban Bowlerama No. 2 team charges to victory at Mike Elicker Memorial Team Challenge

Members of the Suburban Bowlerama No. 2 team, which won the 2020 Mike Elicker Memorial Team Challenge, are, from left: Mark Fuhrman, Brandon Hinderer, Greg Bruff, Kevin Sollenberger and Kevin Appnel.

The Suburban Bowlerama No. 2 team staged an impressive charge to capture the 2020 Mike Elicker Memorial Team Challenge traveling cup at Suburban Bowlerama on Sunday.

The No. 2 squad was comprised of Brandon Hinderer, Kevin Sollenberger, Mark Fuhrman, Greg Bruff and Kevin Appnel. 

In the finals, Suburban Bowlerama No. 2 defeated the Suburban Bowlerama No. 3 team of Eric Smith, Paul Wolfram, Ritchie Wolfe, Mike Spangler and Ben Marvel, 215-168 and 267-222.

"We were calm, even-keeled and we never panicked," said Hinderer after receiving the traveling cup. 

His team charged from sixth place — 277 pins off the pace, after three games of league-style qualifying — into the top position by winning the first 11 of its 12 Baker-format games. The top three teams advanced to the stepladder finals.

In the Baker team format, individual bowlers roll frames 1 and 6, 2 and 7, 3 and 8, 4 and 9 and 5 and 10. Teams earn 30 bonus points for each Baker win and plus or minus the number of pins over or under 200.

"After winning our first four Baker games, we knew we were lined up and locked in," said Appnel. 

"At that point, we figured the tournament was ours to lose," Bruff said.

The team loosened up and gained more confidence with each victory.

"We did a great job of working together today," Bruff said. "We picked each other up, and we had solid team chemistry."

The victory was a sweet one for the quintet.

"We're extremely proud to win the trophy and honor Mike Elicker, who was a longtime member of the bowling community," Fuhrman said. 

"To finish first in a team tournament with this level of competition and challenging format is very meaningful," Sollenberger said.

In the stepladder semifinals, Suburban Bowlerama No. 3 edged the Colony Park North No. 3 team of Jen Sparks, Travis Sparks, Alex Ludwig, Greg Elicker and Chad Ruby in a sudden death roll-off after each team had won a game. 

In the one-ball roll-off, Wolfe and Ruby matched nine counts, forcing another matchup. This time, Spangler tallied a nine-count while Elicker picked up seven pins. 

The team tournament, sponsored by Real Estate Exposures, attracted 12 five-person teams from seven centers. The winning team collected $1,800, while second place was worth $900. The third-place team took home $500.

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