The USBC Sectional Qualifiers have used the current format for the past 12 seasons (2000-2011) to advance teams to the Intercollegiate Championships. This length of time provides an opportunity to look back at some of the history of the 64 Baker game sectional format and the schools that have competed. Over the next few days, I will go back through those results and pull out some interesting facts and statistics.
A note about the detail of the sectional data. I do not have game-by-game records for these events, but have been able to reconstruct all 12 years to the level of the 16 game Baker block totals for all participating schools.
Everyone knows the Toledo men advanced to the 2011 ITC by finishing third in Midwest Region at Landmark Lanes in Peoria, IL. While they definitely had the usual highs and lows from game to game, did you notice their 16 Baker game block scores were remarkably consistent. Over the two day format, Toledo had blocks of 3064-3038-3019-3038 for a total of 12159. The difference between their high and low 16 Baker game blocks was a mere 45 pins. Was that the most consistent sectional performance based on block totals since 2000?
The answer is an easy no ... In fact, although not advancing to the ITC, just look at the 13th place men's team Minnesota State-Mankato in the very same sectional. They were slightly more consistent in the scores they posted (although considerably behind Toledo in the total). The Minnesota State-Mankato 16-Baker game sets were 2828-2860-2840-2824. The difference from the high to low was only 36 pins. That must be the best ever then, right? No, but it was close. It was the third most consistent performance in the past decade.
The most consistent block scores were posted by the Morehead State men at the 2008 East Region at AMF Parkway Lanes in Allentown, PA. Their sets included 2967-2978-2981-2964 for a total of 11890. The difference between the high and low sets was only 17 pins. The day one 32 Baker game score was 5945. This was followed by an identical day two score of 5945. Their performance fell just short of the score needed to advance to the ITC that year. Morehead State finished fifth, 122 pins behind the fourth place men's team from Michigan State. However, their scores are still notable as the most consistent ever in a 64 Baker game sectional.
The second most consistent block scores, and the best among the women's teams, was by the Illinois-Urbana women in the 2001 Midwest Region at AMF North Kansas City Pro Bowl Lanes in Kansas City, MO. The Lady Illini had 2678-2681-2663-2687 for a total of 10709. This was a difference of 24 pins from the high to low set. Like Morehead State, the Illinois-Urbana team finished fifth. In this case, the deficit was 182 pins behind the fourth place Illinois State women.
Since the two most consistent block scores resulted in fifth place finishes, what was the best for a school that advanced to the ITC? That mark was set by another team from Morehead State, the women competing in the 2007 East Region at AMF Parkway Lanes in Allentown, PA. Their scores included blocks of 2822-2801-2841-2845 for a total of 11309. The difference between the high and low blocks was just 44 pins. In this case, their total score was good enough to win the event, beating the second place team from Penn State by 112 pins. If you guessed the second most consistent block score for an advancing team was the 2011 Toledo men at a difference 45 pins, you would be correct.
The top 5 most consistent 16-Baker game block totals (based pin difference between high and low 16 Game Baker sets) in each division are as follows:
2008 East Region (Allentown, PA)
5. Morehead State (2967-2978-2981-2964) - 17 pin difference
2011 Midwest Region (Peoria, IL)
13. Minnesota State-Mankato (2828-2860-2840-2824) - 36 pin difference
2011 Midwest Region (Peoria, IL)
3. Toledo (3064-3038-3019-3038) - 45 pin difference
2005 Midwest Region (Fairview Heights, IL)
4. Western Illinois (3181-3136-3182-3143) - 46 pin difference
2007 Midwest Region (Fairview Heights, IL)
5. McKendree (2949-2972-3001-3006) - 57 pin difference
2001 Midwest Region (Kansas City, MO)
5. Illinois-Urbana (2678-2681-2663-2687) - 24 pin difference
2007 East Region (Allentown, PA)
1. Morehead State (2822-2801-2841-2845) - 44 pin difference
2002 West Region (Citrus Heights, CA)
10. Cal. - Davis (2517-2469-2475-2478) - 48 pin difference
2011 West Region (Euless, TX)
2. Wichita State (3158-3135-3110-3105) - 53 pin difference
2002 East Region (Lexington, KY)
9. Kent State (2315-2303-2359-2353) - 56 pin difference