Optica International fought off a furious Morningside Translations rally in the seventh inning and held on for a 13-12 victory in the second game of the Jerusalem Softball League championship series Monday night forcing a third and deciding game on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. at Kibbutz Gezer.

OI rode the hot bat of Yoni Shwartz once again and he banged out two home runs, giving him six in this years playoff. Shwartz drove in five runs and helped OI get out to any early 7-1 lead.

OI pitcher Danny Gewirtz was pitching a strong game through four innings when MW came back on some timely hits and tied the game at eight before OI scored five runs in the fifth and sixth innings to go up five runs entering the final inning.

MW valiantly came back with a four straight hits in the seventh but the rally fell short with the tying run on third base.

“We knew they would mount a comeback in the last inning, the only questions was would they score enough to tie or win,” marked Gewirtz, who kept the MW bats off balance with a mixture of fastballs and off-speed stuff.

Once again the OI defense was a shaky in the field but managed to hold on for the victory.

Mordechai Frist went 2-4 with a couple of RBI’s and threw a runner out at home plate. Yair Gewirtz also went 2-4 with a sac fly for the winning RBI, while playing a solid shortstop.

For Morningside, Nossie Jacobovitch led the attack, going 3-for-4 with four RBI’s. Yaniv Tsaidi also collected three clutch hits and scored three times.

The loss snapped a 7- game winning streak for the Warriors. Manager Aron Heller said he was confident his team would bounce back in the decisive game three.

“We’ve worked too hard this season to come up short. I believe in this team and we just have to do the things that got us this far and we’ll be fine”.

OI is looking for its first championship since 2006 when it shared the title with Rise Hi.

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