Warriors complete comeback, set to face Optica
Top-seeded Morningside Translations Warriors advanced to the Gezer league softball final.
Gezer Field Photo: Jay L. Abramoff
With a miraculous comeback, the top-seeded Morningside Translations Warriors
advanced to the Gezer league softball final Sunday night with a 14-8 win over
Ginot Shomron. Looking to avenge last season’s disappointing semifinal exit, the
Warriors started out flat against an upstart team, falling behind 8-1 early.
Ginot Shomron was already celebrating in the dugout and jeering their
But the Warriors hung in tight. Pitcher Avi Dzik and his
defense dug deep and shut out Ginot Shomron the rest of the way as the offense
slowly moved into gear.
The comeback began in the bottom of the 4th, when
with two men out and men on 2nd and 3rd, veteran Joe Federman came to the plate
and delivered a crucial 2-run double. Two more runs came in to pull the Warriors
In the bottom of the sixth captain Aron Heller broke out of
the longest hitting slump of his career with a bases-clearing triple to send his
team ahead for the first time. The Warriors then caught fire with eight
straight hits in an 8-run inning to surge ahead 14-8 and never look
“They made the mistake of getting cocky and letting us fight back,”
said Warriors GM Naftali Balanson, who had two hits on the night.
come at the king, you best not miss.” With only nine players available, the
Warriors needed everyone to chip in and indeed each player hit and scored.
Federman (a.k.a. Old Man Joe) was the star, playing a stellar second and going
4-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and a season-high four RBI’s. First
baseman Simon Pack also went 4-for-4.
In the other semifinal Optica
International thrashed two time defending champ and heavily favored Rise Hi
OI trailed 1-0 before unleashing a barrage of hits and Home Runs
off usually reliable starter Eddie Harow to score it biggest victory
Yoni Schwartz hit three home runs with Naftali Schwartz and Yair
Gewirtz each going deep as well.
Gewirtz went 4-4 from the ninth spot in
the batting order and played a flawless shortstop keying the
Clearly, however, the day belonged to Yoni Schwartz, knocking in
a team high six runs against his former team and crushing any chance of a RH
The OI defense was stellar all night but it was the pitching
that really shut down the usually high powered RH offense.
nothing away from the pitching performance of Danny Gewirtz, but we were a
little depleted, missing a few of our starters but hey, they played well and
they deserved to be in the finals” stated a somber RH Manager Yitz
Earlier in the year Gewirtz had one of his worst outings of his
career against RH, giving up 17 runs in four innings, but Sunday night was a
completely different story as he virtually shut down RH yielding just four hits
and never really allowing them to mount any serious rallies.
“I came in
with a game plan to pitch inside and I stuck to it” explained Gewirtz as he kept
the RH hitters off balance throughout the game.
The best of three final
series between the Morningsid Warriors and Optica International begins Thursday