Call it a walk-off pin.
Michael Riolo said he never bowled from the anchor spot before, but the East Islip senior looked completely at ease as he rolled three strikes in the 10th frame to take Game 1 against Sayville by one pin.
Riolo and Sayville’s Alex Henry each doubled to keep the game alive, but Riolo broke the tie by completing the triple.
East Islip distanced itself from there, and beat Sayville, 3-0, in its season debut Tuesday at Sayville Lanes.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Riolo, who bowled a 227 in Game 1 of a 699 series. His highest was a 237 in Game 2. “We worked well. one person went down, another would pick them up.”
Riolo credited his former coach, the late Rick Papandrea, for such an assist.
He said he thought of Papandrea before taking the shot that clinched the first game. “That’s what got me through it,” Riolo said. “He gave me the confidence.”
East Islip bowled a 3,268 series behind Riolo and fellow seniors David Sherman (667) and Michael Orobello, who rolled a 278 in Game 1 of a 624 series. The team hit a rough patch during Game 2, but rebounded for a convincing win in the third game. Sayville bowled a 2,996 series.
East Islip coach Bob Cheadle said his team is inexperienced, but talented. He added he was impressed by his players’ ability to “execute” at the end of the game.
“It took us a little bit to get going, a couple guys had a little nerves, but we got better as the game went on and were able to chase them down,” Cheadle said. “We can be better, we can bowl better, but it was a good team win.
“My seniors all did a really good job so it was a solid first day for a team that graduated five really good bowlers from a state championship team,” Cheadle said. “This group wants to set their sights on the same goal and today was a good first step.”