HUNTERTOWN — Alex Harmon, of Spring Lake, Michigan, the 74th-ranked pinball player in the world, became Wizard’s World Pinball Arcade’s first Silverball Spring Training champion during a tournament in Huntertown Saturday. Harmon earned a No. 1 seed after 15 rounds of four-player group match play and grabbed the win after six rounds of finals to earn $1,000 and the championship baseball bat.
Jesse Baker, ranked 143rd in the world, led Harmon after ball 1 of the championship round on Theatre of Magic. After ball 2, the pair were neck and neck and it was still anybody’s game.
Harmon ended his third ball with 1,182,362,590 points, a score within Baker’s ability to pass. Baker started off strong, jumping from 700 million to 800 million before forfeiting the game with a tilt. Baker, of Cincinnati, went home with $250 and the runner-up bat.
Local player Dan Ostrowski, appearing in only his eighth competitive pinball tournament, placed third on the afternoon. Ostrowski came home from college to compete in the tournament.
Chris Wamsley, of The Wamsley Three Pinball Playing Family from New Albany, Ohio, rounded out the top four.
A total of 15,528 balls were plunged during the tournament. The total amount of balls plunged was significantly higher if you were to include all the multi-balls, ball saves and plunged extra balls. A total of 1,295 games of pinball were played.
The prize pool, split among five players, totaled $1,500.
Players traveled to the tournament from within a 200-mile radius covering four states.
Caitlyn’s Custom Cookies provided 120 baseball cookies for the tournament. A total of 47 players participated — 17 ranking in the International Flipper Pinball Association top 1,000. The group of 17 ranked in the top 2.5 percent in the world.
The youngest player at Saturday’s tournament was 12 years old.