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Eric Forkel posts some big numbers before being ousted by Bohn

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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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