by Fred Eisenhammer
SAN MARCOS – “So I bowled pretty good tonight. I love the game.” That’s what Richard Perez III posted August 22 on his Facebook page in a rather sizable understatement.
Perez, 30, walloped an 837 series that night in which he punctuated his personal best series with back to back 300’s in his second and third games. “It just seemed like I couldn’t miss,” said Perez, who racked up his fourth 800 series and fifth and sixth perfect games. “I literally missed my mark only twice.”
Perez was bowling in Tuesday night’s “Get Your Gear” league at AMF Eagle Lanes in San Marcos. He added his name to a brief list of Southern California bowlers who have notched two perfect games in succession.
“It’s something I will never forget,” said Perez, who lives in the San Diego County city of Vista. “I’m on the short list of people who have done that [back-to-back 300s]. “It was an incredible night.”
Only two bowlers have rolled 900 series (three perfect games) in California and both have come from Riverside County: Vince Wood in 1999 and Jimmy Schmitzer in 2012.
“Just the thought of it  is crazy,” Perez said. “I’d love to give it a run.” Perez, a left-hander, has a strong shot at hitting that magical 900 series, especially with the passion he has for the game. He taught himself how to bowl at age 16 “and it’s taken me about 10 years to perfect it. It’s been quite a run to get where I am now. No one taught me anything.” Interestingly,
Perez shot his previous-best 800 series four months earlier – scoring an 824. In that series, he blasted a 300 in his final game. “I really do love the game,” he said. “I get so emotional and almost cry every time. I work so hard. I don’t feel like anyone gets into the game like I do.”
Perez realized that he just can’t step into a bowling center and bowl brilliantly every time. Perez, who averages 226, rolled a 618 series the week after his 837 series. “I went down 200 pins,” he said, laughing. “You never know when that special moment will happen.”