A trio of home runs pushed the Morningside Translations Warriors past Optica International 16-11 Thursday at Gezer to put the team one win away from a championship title. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Monday at Gezer.

Young sluggers Yanky Itzkowitz, Chaim Schon and Nossie Jacobovitch each went long to lead the Warriors to their 7th consecutive victory.

OI came into the game with a lot of confidence after unseating defending champions RiseHi in the semifinals.

The game was tight, with the teams trading runs, until the Warriors broke out in the 4th with a 6-run inning.

OI battled back for three runs in the top of the 5th, but in the bottom of the frame Itzkowitz smashed a towering 2-run blast to left field that all but clinched the game.

Despite their prowess at the plate, the Warriors were sloppy in the field committing several errors. The only exception was the stellar play of rightfielder Ariel “Mama” Kass, who made a dazzling sliding catch to secure the Warrior lead late in the game.

Captain Aron Heller as well as Itzkowitz led the way for the Warriors, with both men going 4-for-4 with two RBI’s.

Jacobovitch went 3-for-4 (a combined 11-for-12 for the 3-4-5 hitters) with four RBIs.Schon, the leadoff hitter, scored three times and knocked in three.

For OI, Yoni Schwartz went long, his 4th home run of the playoffs, and had three RBI’s.

Mordechai Frist had three hits and two runs batted in.

“In contrast to our semifinal game and victory against RiseHi, we just were not sharp in all phases of the game,” said OI Manager Danny Gewirtz.

“I don’t know if it was being in our first championship game or what, but we must do better Monday night to tie up the series and I believe we will.”

Heller, the Morningside manager, said his team would do its talking on the field.

“The game’s out there, and it’s play or get played. That simple,” he said.

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