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Eric Forkel posts some big numbers before being ousted by Bohn

Eric Forkel enjoyed a powerful day at the PBA50 Northern California Classic.
Courtesy of Eric Forkel

Eric Forkel’s favorite number must be 279.

That’s because the talented bowler crushed three 279 games on Wednesday before being eliminated by Parker Bohn III, 242-198, in the semifinal round of the PBA50 Northern California Classic at Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif.

Forkel, a five-time PBA Tour winner who was bidding for his first PBA50 Tour title, earned $2,500.

The 53-year-old Forkel, one of the top bowlers to come out of the San Fernando Valley, enjoyed a sensational day on Wednesday, winning four matches before being ousted by Bohn later that night in the single-elimination tournament.

Forkel, a Henderson, Nev., resident, also smoked a 289 game earlier in the day.

But Forkel’s highlight came when he eliminated PBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall-of-Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., 2-0, in a round-of-8 best-of-three match.

Forkel avenged a loss to Williams six days earlier in the USBC Senior Masters in Las Vegas.

Forkel defeated Williams, 212-182, and 236-215. Williams was the two-time defending champion of the PBA50 Northern California Classic.

Forkel was trying to defeat two Hall of Famers in a row when he took on Bohn, a fellow lefthander and one of the top performers for the Los Angeles X pro bowling team.

The victory over Forkel catapulted Bohn into the championship match, where he lost to 59-year-old Hall-of-Famer Tom Baker, 290-245. It was Baker’s first win of the season and 11th career PBA50 Tour title.

Baker won the $8,000 top prize and Bohn earned $4,500.

After winning the title, Baker told PBA writer Jerry Schneider: “The whole day I had to rely on my equipment. I must have used five or six balls today and the ball I used in the championship match I didn’t even use all day.

“I was pretty fortunate to be able to bowl for the title. In the round of 16, I was down 2-0 and had to battle back to win the next three games to pull it out. I was having a lot of trouble leaving 10 pins on really good shots so it got pretty frustrating.”

The Baker-Bohn clash was a rematch of Baker’s championship match loss to Bohn in the Brentwood Classic PBA Tour tournament in 1998.

Bohn won that one, 239-222.

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