Jeremy Batt needed a 9 on his final roll of the 10th frame for Flagler Palm Coast’s boys bowling team to defeat Matanzas in the first game of their match on Sept. 20.
Batt rolled a strike, and the Bulldogs went on to defeat the Pirates for the first time in recent memory on FPC’s senior day at Palm Coast Lanes.
Anthony Seeley and Eliot Oliva led FPC to victories in the first two games to take a 4-0 lead. Matanzas won all three Baker games for the two Baker points, but the Bulldogs won total pins (2,040 to 2,009) to take the 5-2 victory.
FPC honored six senior bowlers during the match — Batt, Oliva and Justin Hurley on the boys team and Emma Pezzullo, Jasmine Sites and Sabrina DaSilva-Carvaheira on the girls team.
FPC’s girls defeated Matanzas 7-0 for their ninth win in 10 matches.
FPC’s boys team improved to 8-2.
“This is definitely our biggest upset in quite a while,” Bulldogs boys coach Steve Stripling said.
The teams practice side by side when they’re not competing, and they are all friends, but that hasn’t diminished the rivalry.
“Our bowlers love bowling with Matanzas and against them,” Stripling said. “To finally upset them, they were pretty excited. The camaraderie between the two teams is very good. It’s competitive, but they have a good time with it.”
Seeley, a sophomore, bowled his best games of the season with a 234 and a 228. After FPC won the first game, 791-789, Seeley rolled seven consecutive strikes to help the Bulldogs win the second game, 747-666.
“Anthony just hit strike after strike,” Oliva said. “That lifted the team up.”
While Seeley energized his team, he tried to stay focused.
“I didn’t talk to anybody,” he said. “I was very nervous. Then (after his seventh strike), I had a split, and I was aggravated.”
Oliva bowled a 219 and a 200.
“It was senior night and it was against our biggest rival,” Oliva said. “We never beat them, so we’re definitely pretty happy about that,” he said.
Matanzas fell to 7-2. Both of the Pirates’ losses were close.
“(FPC) bowled really well,” Matanzas boys coach Jens Oliva said. “We were one spare away from beating them. It was the same thing with DeLand — we lost by one spare. But we won the Baker’s round, and at district the Baker games will determine whether we go to state or not.”
Brandon Page had the high game for the Pirates, with a 231. Tyler Miller bowled a 203 and a 205 for Matanzas.
Pezzullo bowled a 257 in the girls match. The senior leads the district with a 226.89 average. Sites bowled a 192. Brooke Bokanoski bowled her best game of the year with a 173. Olivia Rabbat bowled a 179 and a 203 for the Pirates. Caleigh Walden bowled a 172.