Optica International evened the best-of-three series at one apiece in the Jerusalem Post Softball League finals by crushing The Phillip Stein Sox 20-9 on Tuesday night at Kibbutz Gezer.
The decisive Game 3 is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday night. OI was determined to avoid a season sweep after four straight PS wins over the regular season and the final series. Optica grabbed the early lead courtesy of a Yoni Schwartz two-run home run in the first inning, but the Sox came back with four unearned runs in the top of the second to take a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, however, OI scored three more and held a 6-4 lead after two innings. OI effectively broke the game open in the bottom half of the fifth inning with an eight-run barrage.
Pitcher Danny Gewirtz, who kept the hard-hitting Sox team off balance most of the night, hit a double to drive in two runs and was later followed by a three-run blast from Schwartz, his second of the evening, and a solo shot from Aryeh Bauman.
OI poured on six more runs in the sixth to put the game completely out of reach.
Schwartz had a monster game with the two home runs, seven RBIs and a pair of runs.
Bauman and Gewirtz also had three hits and scored three times to pace the OI onslaught.
For the third straight season, OI has lost the first game of the championship series, only to come back and win Game 2.
If it can pull off a Game 3 triumph, this would be the third time that it has come back from a series-opening loss only to win two straight and the title.