HAMMOND | Sammy Krucek is hoping he's set himself up to prove that the third time is a charm.
The Calumet College assistant men's bowling coach posted an 815 series on the second day of qualifying for the Times/Pepsi Classic on Sunday at Olympia Lanes.
Krucek was runner-up in Class A in both 2010 and 2013.
"Finishing second twice is tough, but you've just got to keep putting yourself in that position and maybe they'll start falling," Krucek said. "I don't really like to dwell too much on what happened last year or a few years ago, but (the Times/Pepsi Classic) is definitely one want to win."
Krucek spent time watching other bowlers Saturday to understand how to approach the lanes. It paid off as he bowled to a quick start, rolling a 289 and a 279 in his first two games. Even Krucek's throw-away score of 216 was better than most of of the day's tallies.
"I know this tournament's a striking tournament, so you've got to come ready to strike," Krucek said. "I was fortunate enough to strike as well as I did and the numbers fell out alright."
His series score is all but guaranteed to qualify him for match play, but Krucek said he'll probably bowl at least once more in the remaining three days of qualifying to try to put together a backup plan.
Tony Arrington, of Blue Island, also jumped out to a fast start with a 246 in his first game and a 258 in his second en route to a 719 series. Yet, Arrington felt like his score could've been much higher.
"It was a totally different shot (in the third game)," the Class B bowler said. "I left those balls at home. There was no more space in my trunk."
Arrington spent his morning bowling in the USBC Illinois state tournament in Waukegan, Ill. He said he'll come back to Olympia next weekend with a full compliment of equipment.
"I know what I need," he said. "I could've shot a 240, 250 in that last game (with the right ball)."
Arrington has finished in the top five twice.