Lakewood Heimishe takes Holyland Series

Warriors improve to 11-2 by knocking Suns out of postseason contention.

Softball champs 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Softball champs 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In a dramatic championship final of the All Star Israel Softball League, Lakewood Heimishe Bake Shoppe took home the Holyland Series Trophy, with a stunning 10-7 comeback victory.
Players and fans stormed the field, celebrating the roller-coaster victory for Lakewood late into the night.
Lakewood, widely seen as the underdogs, jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the opening frame, with Yitzy Kramer and Shloimy Gruen sparking the opening salvo.
The experienced Lobos squad showed veteran poise, chipping away at the deficit, and finally breaking through for a 7-6 lead with just two innings remaining.
Then, in the penultimate frame, the drama began.
Pitcher Dovy Fass singled, followed by Mayer Shatner and Gruen, bringing up Shloimy Rosenberg in the ultimate clutch situation – bases loaded, two outs, with the championship clearly on the line.
With the crowd at a fever pitch, Rosenberg cracked a shot deep into center field, for a basesclearing double that returned the lead to a euphoric Lakewood team.
In the top of the last, Shatner knocked in an insurance run, and the Fass ended the contest with a strikeout and two induced ground balls.
Lakewood’s stunning championship was accomplished while knocking out the two most feared teams in the lead, Lobos and Café Rimon, in the semis and championship.
The Heimishe Bake Shoppe got offensive production across the board, as Eli Bleeman had two hits and a walk, JT Gutman batted 3 for 3 with two walks, including a rare intentional pass.
Yechiel Kleiman made the throw of the game, with a tremendous assist from left field to gun down a runner at the plate, while second baseman Shloimy Gruen’s spectacular catch on a line drive up the middle with two men on, cut short what looked to be a Lobos go-ahead rally.
Fans stormed the field on the final out, as Gruen accepted the Holyland Series Trophy amid a raucous crowd of well-wishers.
Warriors improve to 11-2 by knocking Suns out of postseason contention
The Morningside Translations Warriors avenged last year’s playoff loss to the Beit Shemesh Suns with a 12-9 victory Thursday at Gezer that eliminated the Suns from postseason contention for the first time in a long time.
With the victory, the Warriors improve to 11-2 with a single game left in the regular season. The Warriors will face their longtime nemesis RiseHi in the season finale Friday – a matchup that will decide the number one seed in the playoffs.
Thursday’s game was tight till the fifth inning when the Warriors scored five, sparked by a monster three-run homer by all-star Yanky Itzkowitz. The leftfielder added four runs scored, four RBI’s and three stolen bases to the lead the Warrior offense.
Avi Dzik had three hits and was solid again on the mound.
But Suns ace Andre Isaacson handled the rest of the fearsome Warriors lineup. The team only garnered 13 hits for the evening, with Isaacson holding the Warriors number hitter and batters five through eight to a combined 2-20 from the plate.
The Warriors defense kept them ahead until a scare in the seventh, when the Suns scored four runs off Warriors closer Joe Federman to get within three before he locked up his fifth save of the season.
The big blast was a threerun homer by slugger Adam Fishman, who went 4-for-4 in the game with four RBI’s.
Chaim Wizman went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s for the Suns in a losing effort.
“This one got a little too close for comfort but a win is a win,” said Warriors Manager Aron Heller.
“Joe came through in the clutch as he always does and we’re going to need that if we get into a tough spot in the playoffs.”