Derek Eoff
Derek Eoff

Eoff Rolls Stepladder to Win Masters

For the second consecutive year, the five seed has run the table in the stepladder finals of the MBA Masters. MBA newcomer Derek Eoff bested a field of 45 entrants to claim the title in the fifth annual tournament on February 2, 2013.

The tournament was held at MBA City Tournament host Bowl-A-Vard Lanes on the USBC Blue #1 pattern – a pattern which has considerably less volume than the USBC Blue #3 condition used the previous two Masters. The result was significantly higher scores, though no honor counts.

Game 1 was the highest scoring of the day, with the field averaging nearly 220. Jay Heinzelman fired 279 out of the gates to take the early lead, and fifth place was +57 (Marc McDowell). The cut to cash – 15 with 45 bowlers (1:3) – was +38 (Rich Banker).

In game 2, the field averaged nearly five pins less than the first game. The cut numbers softened, as they are prone to do. The cut to cash rose to +62 (Chris Loret) and the stepladder cut for fifth place went to +84 (Cody Ramsden). Jonathan Schalow took the lead at 514 on games of 247 and 267.

Scoring picked up slightly in game three, about a pin a game. It took +79 (Tony Cenite) to make it above the cash line. The cut average to make the top five went up just under one pin, with the number at +128 (Jonathan Schalow). Defending champion Cody Ramsden jumped into the lead at +742. The top 10 scorers all had 710 or better for their opening sets.

The second highest scoring game for the field was game four, and the cut the cut to cash reflected it. Mike Hoffman took over the lead in qualifying – a lead he would not relinquish – at +208, a 252 average. The cut to the top five moved to +160 (Derek Eoff) and the cut to cash was +116 (Jim Fosdick).

The lowest scoring game of the day was game five, where the field averaged under 210, and the lines – though still high – dropped. Hoffman led at +244. The stepladder cut went up 27 to +187 (Jeff Prein), and the cut to cash was +139 (Rich Banker).

The final game was the second lowest scoring for the field, and it ultimately took an average of just over 225 (+152) to cash (Cody Ramsden). The cut to the top five was +221 (Derek Eoff), nearly a 237 average. Hoffman led with +280, averaging almost 247.

In the first match, Eoff managed a 235-208 victory over fourth seed Jay Heinzelman (+236). Eoff opened with a 10 pin, and followed it up with a six bagger. Heinzelman stayed in the match and actually had a glimpse of a chance following a 2-8-10 split in the ninth frame gave by Eoff. Heinzelman was looking at a possible 238 finish with the last five strikes, but didn’t carry in the ninth frame.

MBA Hall of Famer Jeff Prein was the third seed at +256 on the strength of a 268-247-256 finish in qualifying. In this match, Eoff started with the first four. Prein was game through five frames and had a shot at taking the lead in the sixth – until he met with the first of what would be four 10 pins in the second half of his game. Prein mustered a 212 to Eoff’s 254.

The semifinal match featured Eoff against second high qualifier Herb Kimpel (+263). This match would be the closest on the day – 246-243. Eoff was solid through his first seven frames with six out of seven strikes. Kimpel kept pace, though an errant shot in the third left him down 15 pins after seven. A spare in the eighth frame by Eoff opened the door for Kimpel, but he missed in and left the 3-5-6, converted it, and struck in the ninth. Eoff missed again in the ninth frame, but converted and struck out to lock out Kimpel and advance to the final match.

In the championship match, tournament leader Mike Hoffman (+280) matched Eoff’s double in the first two frames. Eoff split the third frame, then doubled again. Hoffman left a couple seven pins over the next three frames, and held a four pin lead in the sixth frame. But then Hoffman erred in the seventh, chopping one pin off the 3-5-6, and trailed by eight after Eoff struck in the eighth and spared in the ninth. Hoffman was now looking at retaking the lead with a strike in his ninth. Hoffman spared, and sought to put pressure on Eoff in the tenth, but managed only the first strike. Eoff needed only to fill the tenth, which he did, and won the match 202-194.

Congratulations to Derek Eoff, who won $510.00, two tickets to the MBA Hall of Fame Dinner and Bowler Recognition ceremony in August, one ticket to the Dinner with the Champions in October, and the crystal Eagle Trophy.

Prize List

1.Derek Eoff$510.00
2.Mike Hoffman$305.00
3.Herb Kimpel$245.00
4.Jeff Prein$215.00
5.Jay Heinzelman$195.00
6.Gail Myers$130.00
7.Jeff Richgels$125.00
8.Brian Hoffman$120.00
8.Rich Banker$120.00
10.Chris Pollentier$105.00
11.Marc McDowell$100.00
12.Jonathan Schalow$95.00
13.Matt Ruhland$90.00
14.Chris Gibbons$80.00
15.Cody Ramsden$75.00

Stepladder Finals

Match 1: #5 Eoff def. #4 Heinzelman 235 – 208
Match 2: #5 Eoff def. #3 Prein 254 – 212
Match 3: #5 Eoff def. #2 Kimpel 246 – 243
Match 4: #5 Eoff def. #1 Hoffman 202 – 194


1.Mike Hoffman2552152592792362361480
2.Herb Kimpel2582472352392412431463
3.Jeff Prein2372122232682472561443
4.Jay Heinzelman2792182262692072371436
5.Derek Eoff2432322382472152461421
6.Gail Myers1802232582382442771420
7.Jeff Richgels2472052582222442341410
8.Rich Banker2382252582261922601399
8.Brian Hoffman1912152882272322461399
10.Chris Pollentier2552112682172442031398
11.Marc McDowell2572372282362222161396
12.Jonathan Schalow2472672142381842251375
13.Matt Ruhland2372262132402422031361
14.Chris Gibbons2392022472122452081353
15.Cody Ramsden2272572582012261831352
16.Jim Fosdick2192552142282132161345
17.Dan Swenson2462351962052552071344
18.Chris Loret2272352332271822111315
19.Ron Blanchar2312152122372042131312
20.Kevin Thompson2101892072172362431302
21.Scott Erickson2062052352242471801297
22.Matt Riege1722251922571892551290
23.Ken Duffield2582151882342231701288
24.Mike Helsell1772312362361892161285
25.Eric Pederson2452052041802671831284
26.Tony Cenite2102362332671501841280
27.Bill Dennis2361961741792212681274
28.Chris Jackson2182021592052452431272
29.Bob Richardson2192161602582022151270
30.Brian Longfield1632162262462072031261
31.Jacob Thomas2431991872051752501259
32.Matt Hamen2222271791982381941258
33.Nick Schroeder2102542011961881831232
34.Bryan Bannach1751752272172341931221
35.Brent Ritchie2262151822071852051220
36.Mark Newkirk1811902142341991721190
37.Rollie Truehl2131972241802001611175
38.Jeff Sweeney2591811631871672141171
39.Shawn Mitchell1762312221691731971168
40.Bob Holzbauer2171671801951562481163
41.Dan Seppa2012181951671831921156
42.Tony Thaden1582062781791671571145
43.John Gradel1932021571781901931113
44.Chad Kuehmichel1822312241681601421107
45.Darin Johnson2151251551711661931025