Spring Hill’s Nick Erdman and Jeremy Gearlds will continue their stays at the TSSAA State Bowling Championships for another day, but their pursuits of an individual title came to an end Wednesday.
With a total pinfall of 772 in four games at Smyrna Bowling Center, Erdman — making his second tournament appearance in as many years — came up just short of qualifying for one of the top six spots necessary to advance to the championship ladder round.
Erdman, a senior, placed 10th overall, with Gearlds totaling 750 in the semifinals to finish 19th.
“They just didn’t get the breaks,” Spring Hill coach Don McKinnon said. “The pins didn’t fall. They put the ball there; they just didn’t get much pin carry.”
Walker Valley’s Jacob Brown rolled an 873 in the semifinals to earn the top spot in the ladder matches, followed by Hardin Valley’s Devean Littlejohn (871), Sevier County’s Caleb Marshall (839), Franklin’s Drew Whelan (810), Lawrence County’s Colton Moore (807) and Green Hill’s Andy Romer (793).
Littlejohn defeated Brown 238-197 in the finals, with Moore placing third, followed by Marshall, Whelan and Romer. Moore won three straight ladder matches before falling to Littlejohn.
Gearlds, a junior, had the seventh-best qualifying average in the state tourney field, with a 216.24, while Erdman was 10th with a 215.44. Both came up short of those efforts on Wednesday, though. Erdman had a 231 in his third game, after a 202 and a 167, and finished with a 172. Gearlds opened with a 194 and a 204, but fell off to a 164 and 188 in his final two games.
“Jeremy didn’t seem nervous at all,” McKinnon said. “He was there. He put the ball where he needed to. He just didn’t get the carry.
“Nick was disappointed, as anyone would be. But we kept his spirits up. They’ll both be back for the team event.”
Columbia Central sophomore Jacob Molasy totaled 682 for 30th place.
Erdman, Gearlds and their Raider teammates will now turn their attention to the Division I boys team competition that begins at 11 a.m. Thursday with a quarterfinal match against Lebanon. Boys semifinals are set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, with the championship scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.
In Division II, Columbia Academy senior Austin Kimes and sophomores Foster Isenberg and Connor Butt are in the boys individual semifinal field that will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday. The DII boys championship ladder rounds will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday.