Optica International evened their record on Friday and held on late to beat previously undefeated Morningside Translations Warriors 8-7.

It was the biggest win in years for OI, who evened their record to 3-3 on the year as they battle for a playoff spot. OI played their best defensive game of the year and got timely hitting in a five run fourth inning to take an 8-3 lead.

Over the later innings MW chipped away and loaded the bases with no out and down 8-5 in the ninth but Danny Gewirtz induced a couple of deep fly outs to secure the win for OI.

OI’s Aaron Lazor had a big day (three hits), while Yoni Schwartz went 2-2 with a pair of walks and a mammoth home-run. Optica rookie Avi Staiman chipped in with two hits as well as veteran pitcher Gewirtz held the explosive MW bats to just seven runs to ensure the victory.

The week before at Gezer, the Warriors had remained unbeaten with a pair of impressive victories over tough opponents. In the first game of a rare doubleheader, the Warriors thrashed Optica International 25-11, thanks to a 10-run fourth inning. In the second game, the team edged out rival RiseHi 11-9 thanks to four home runs for its fifth straight victory over the softball powerhouse.

In the opener, shortstop Aron Heller hit a two-run homer in the top of the first to get the Warriors out to a quick 4-run lead.

But OI fought back and thanks to some Warrior errors found themselves up 8-7 after three before the Warriors exploded for 10 runs (after two outs were recorded) to put the game away.

In the second game, the Warriors showed off their power, jumping out to an 11-2 lead behind four home runs.

RiseHi came storming back though scoring six in the sixth and then getting within two runs in the bottom of the seventh when with two men in scoring position and two out the dangerous Earl Harow came to the plate. Harow lined a zinger toward second where Federman made a great leaping catch to end the ball game.

“It was another Warrior/RiseHi classic. Every one of them seems to come down to the wire,” said Morningside Manager Aron Heller.

“The home runs were impressive, but I’m mostly proud of how the boys hung in there at the end and played tough in clutch situations.”

The victory marked the fifth time in a row the Warriors beat RiseHi, tying the all-time record between them at seven wins a apiece.

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