Strong final-match performances enabled Paul Schmidt of Arbutus, Md., and Michele Stinchcomb of Glen Burnie to capture the boys and girls titles, respectively, giving the Baltimore area its second sweep in three years over Washington yesterday in the fifth annual Youth Duckpin Invitational at Fair Lanes in College Park.
The day concluded the week-long tournament which began with 168 bowlers. Baltimore leads the series with six titles to Washington's four.
Schmidt, 20, left only one open frame in the final game of the two-game match to defeat Wheaton's Dale Dietsch, 328-254.
It was the second straight year in which the top-seeded Dietsch, whose father Jim is a duckpin Hall of Famer, lost in this final.
Schmidt, the leader all week, defeated 15-year-old Mark Nigh of Hagerstown, 276-264, to advance to the final. To win the Washington division, Dietsch threw a 325 to best Hyattsville's Mike Goheen's 279.
"After Dale threw a 200 game, I knew he couldn't keep it up," said Schmidt. "I was the leader all the way through, so I was pretty confident."
Stinchcomb, also 20, had no problem in disposing of Linda Ridenour of Wheaton, 291-210, to capture her first title.
Bowling an opening game of 169, Stinchcomb, a computer operator for the Department of Defense, never trailed. Seeded second, she upended Baltimore's top-seeded Beth Yingling, a former invitational champion and multiple world record holder, 270-243.
Stinchcomb started the day by defeating Dana Stienert of Baltimore, 253-207.
"I was scared to death at first," said Stinchcomb. "Once I got past Beth, I knew I was all right. That was the big hump."
Ridenour won the Washington title by beating 15-year-old Christina Cusato of Marlow Heights, 263-224. In the final, she marked only twice in the opening game and never could recover.
Similarly, Dietsch could mark only twice in his first eight frames, allowing Schmidt to grab a large lead. Schmidt appeared much smoother in his delivery, as Dietsch's ball often flew out of control toward the pins, especially on his spare attempts.
Schmidt, who will attend Catonsville Community College in the fall, said he intends to play in the youth division next year as well.
He still is shooting for his first game without an open frame.
"Today was the 21st time I had a one-open-framed game," an otherwise content Schmidt said.