Perfection achieved ... again

Jim Baptist bowls his third 300 game

You get nervous.

Your hands start to shake, and it gets hard to stand up.

That's how Jim Baptist describes closing in on bowling a perfect 300 game.

The hardest part of achieving perfection is to not think about it, Baptist said.

"You get four or five strikes in a row, and immediately the brain wants to start thinking, 'Maybe,'" he said. "The hardest thing is after you get five is to not think about it and just take it a frame at a time."

He should know. A little more than a week ago, he bowled his third 300 game in his 44-year bowling career.

Baptist said he was "pretty locked in" on the Feb. 8 night at Thunder Rolls Bowling,

"It was just down the line and it stayed there," he said. "I've been practicing to try and come straight down and in because that seems to be the best shot. ... That is what I was shooting."

Baptist, who has a 202 average and drills the balls at the Craig bowling alley, said his bowling mark changes upon lane conditions -- and he uses four bowls depending on how dry or oily the lanes are. On the night of his latest 300, the lanes were pretty even, and his mark was around the first arrow.

A night after bowling the 300, Beryl Dschaak, part-owner of Thunder Rolls, presented Baptist with a check for $300 in front of the lanes he achieved perfection, lanes 9 and 10.

It is the second time a 300 game has been bowled at Thunder Rolls since it opened in October 2005. Jim Wells bowled a 300 game four months earlier on the exact same lanes.

Have people begun to clamor to bowl on lanes 9 and 10 after lightning has struck there twice?

"Not yet," Dschaak said with a laugh. "But they might be when they find out."

Baptist bowled his first 300 game in 1990, with his second in 1991. This third one has meaning in its own right.

"This one is really special because it is a new house, and a friend of mine got the first one (at Thunder Rolls)," Baptist said. "It feels good to get the second one, just to be with him. ... It's a first-class bowling alley."

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