Action heats up across the diamonds

The expansion Philip Stein’s Sox won their first game ever, defending champs Optica International won a game in dramatic walk-off style.

Mens softball 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Mens softball 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In a wild couple of early-season weeks in the Jerusalem Softball League, the expansion Philip Stein’s Sox won their first game ever, defending champs Optica International won a game in dramatic walk-off style and Morningside Translations Warriors bounced back from the worst start in franchise history with a pair of dominating performances to get back on track.
Starting things off, the Sox beat the Warriors 15-10, with Alan Tover’s two-run homer starting things off, before MW stormed back with a six-run third keyed by Yitzi Miller’s tworun HR.
PS responded with nine runs of their own, powered by a Tover grand-slam that gave the first-year franchise a lead which it never relinquished.
In other action, Optica International also defeated the Warriors, this one on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning by Danny Gewirtz for a hard-fought 13-12 triumph. It was OI’s third straight victory over MW dating back to last year’s championship series. It was also Gewirtz’s first walk-off hit after playing 25 years in the league Gewirtz also held the potent MW offense in check most of the afternoon despite some uncharacteristic shoddy fielding which ended up costing OI 6 unearned runs. Aaron Katsman helped the cause with a mammoth three-run HR and had four RBI’s on the day.
OI – now 4-1 – trailed by one run going into its last at-bat when Naftali Schwartz led off with a single and eventually scored on a Matt Charnowitz hit with two outs before Gewirtz plated him from second with a liner to right.
The Warriors, meanwhile, bounced back from three straight losses to open the season with doubleheader sweep Tuesday at Gezer, beating Ginot Shomron 16-3 and Beit Shemesh 19-8.
Avi Dzik pitched both games for the Warriors, notching a career-high four strikeouts in the second game.
The Warriors set the tone early against Ginot Shomron with a leadoff a homer by Yitzi Miller in the first and a a two-run shot from Simon Pack later in the inning. Joe Federman went 5-for- 5 at the plate for the Warriors.
The second game was more of the same, with the Warriors scoring five runs in the first and blowing the game open with a nine-run fourth.
“These games were as close as you can get for us to a ‘mustwin’ situation in the regular season,” said MW captain Aron Heller. “We showed what we were capable of out there today and we’re right back in the thick of it now.”