Ruzzano gets by Lucas twice to take Stop #28 on the New England 9-Ball Series


Mark Ruzzano rather handily defeated Bob Lucas to claim the hot seat at stop #28 on the New England 9-Ball Series, and while Lucas came back to fight a double hill battle in the finals, Ruzzano prevailed to claim the title. The event, held on Sunday, July 29, drew 30 entrants to Stix and Stones in Abington, MA.
After an first round bye, Ruzzano opened his winning campaign with victories over Ken Botelh (6-1) and Kevin Rodriguez (6-2) to arrive at an upper-bracket, winners’ side semifinal against Henry Leighton. Lucas (a C player), in the meantime, after downing two straight C+ opponents, arrived at a winners’ side semifinal against a third, Eli Davenport.
Ruzzano (a B player) defeated Leighton 6-3, as Lucas was busy securing a double hill win over Davenport. With Lucas racing to 5, Ruzzano claimed the hot seat 7-2.
On the loss side, the only Open player in the stop, Joe Dupuis (playing in his own room, where he works) was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that began with an opening round loss to Kevin Rodriguez and would take him as far as the semifinals. With three loss-side notches on his belt, Dupuis drew Rodriguez for a second time, and defeated him 10-3. He went on to down Jim Prather 9-3 and draw Leighton, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Davenport picked up fellow C+ player Bill Phillips, who’d gotten by Rob Diehl 5-2 and Derrick Cunningham 5-1 to reach him.
Dupuis and Phillips advanced to the quarterfinals; Dupuis, double hill (9-4) over Leighton and Phillips 5-2 over Davenport. Dupuis chalked up what would prove to be his final win, defeating Phillips 10-2. With Dupuis racing to 11 and Lucas racing to 4 in the semifinals, Lucas prevailed 4-6.
In their second match, using that ever-illusive momentum factor, Lucas battled Ruzzano to an 11th deciding game, which with Ruzzano racing to 7 and Lucas to 5, came with Ruzzano ahead in actual games 6-4. Ruzzano completed his undefeated run and claimed his first New England 9-Ball Series title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stix and Stones, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. Stop #29 on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Sunday, August 12, will be the last tour stop before the Tour Championship and will be hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.