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Levittown's Ziesig in contention

By day, he's a mild-mannered bowling mart worker. By night, he's a mild-mannered dad helping his 7-year-old daughter with homework. But by Sunday, Brian Ziesig could be a local hero.

The Levittown native finished Friday's match-play competition in second place (8,070 pins) with the top 5 making Sunday's final in the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at Babylon Lanes.

Even in this position, he's a major underdog because second-year star Jason Belmonte (first place) and Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. (third) are in the mix. But, heck, the odds of him reaching this point weren't favorable either.

Ziesig, 35, doesn't have a PBA exemption and just made his way into the tournament by finishing ninth in Wednesday's qualifier.

Ziesig, a Chaminade High and St. John's alum, said: "[Thursday] I just wanted to make the top 32. Now it's like 'Anything can happen.' ''

Muddled in the middle of the pack most of Thursday, he got hot late and shot up the standings like mercury, finishing the night in sixth. All it took was a less-mild manner.

"After I missed a 10-pin in the third game Thursday, I got so frustrated . . . I had to settle down and refocus," Ziesig said.

Friday night he rocketed into first with a 277 in Game 25 but was passed by Belmonte in Game 32.

Should he pull a stunner and win the title, and its $25,000 chaperone, he would go back to being a mild-mannered worker at Ace Mitchell in West Babylon. "Can't get carried away," he said. "Right back to work on Monday."

Jason Belmonte, the Australian with the two-handed throwing style, is in first (8,081) and has rolled three 300 games in two days. Belmonte won last year's Long Island Classic.

Notes & quotes: Mike Fagan of Patchogue finished 10th and Alex Cavagnaro of Lindenhurst finished 16th.

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