Matarazzo double dips Caron for top spot on Rack ‘Em Up Tour

It was the first time that either of the two finalists, Joe Matarazzo and Eric Caron, had moved into the money rounds on the New England-based Rack ‘ Em Up Tour, and they battled in a best-two-out-of-three contest that concluded with a deciding double-hill matchup. Matarazzo took the deciding game in this Open/A-C handicapped event, which drew 47 entrants to The Green Room in Uxbridge, MA on Sunday, January 9.

The two met first in the hot seat match, after Matarazzo had dispatched DJ Hopkins to the west bracket 3-2 (Hopkins needing 5), and Caron had done likewise to Tom “Shorty” D'Alfonso 3-3 (D'Alfonso needing 7). It was Caron moving into the hot seat, shutting Matarazzo out 4-0.

On the one-loss side, following victories over Debra Nicol and Ed Boyle, it was Dave Norton picking up Hopkins. “Shorty” drew Tony Masi, who'd advanced past Joey Dupuis and Ian McKelvey to reach him. Masi made ‘short' work of D'Alfonso, allowing him only a single rack in a 4-1 victory (D'Alfonso needing 5) that moved him into the quarterfinals. Hopkins and Norton battled to double hill before Hopkins prevailed to square off against Masi.

In a straight-up race to 5, Hopkins defeated Masi 5-3, thereby denying Masi the opportunity a second crack at Matarrazo, who'd sent him to the one-loss side from among the winners' side final eight.  In the semifinals that followed, Matarazzo allowed Hopkins only two of the five racks he needed to win in a 3-2 victory that gave him a second, and as it turned out, third chance against Caron in the match finals.

Matarazzo turned the tables on Caron in the opening set, avenging the earlier, hot seat shutout and allowing Caron only a single rack to knot their best-two-out-of-three contest at one apiece. The two battled to double hill in the second set, before Matarazzo prevailed for his first tour victory.

“Shorty” D'Alfonso salved the wound of his fifth-place, $110 finish in the main event by stepping to the table in the Break and Run contest, and dropping them all for an $1,820 payout. Dave Bowden, in his attempt, failed to sink a ball and picked up $81 for having his name drawn in the same contest.