The team turned Kim Kwang-hyun’s bad luck into a driving force for victory. SSG Landers has won three straight games to stay at the top of the table after Kim Kwang-hyun’s bad luck.
SSG came back from a 0-1 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Kiwoom Heroes at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday, tying the game with a dramatic solo shot by Jeon Eui-san and winning 2-1 with a game-tying double by Kim Min-sik in the bottom of the 10th inning.안전놀이터
The previous day, SSG came back from a 0-2 deficit to win 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning on Choi Jeong-hwa’s game-winning solo shot, Park Sung-hyun’s tying sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and Kim Sung-hyun’s game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning to overtake LG for first place.
They followed a similar pattern of being down and then coming back with a home run to win the game.
SSG faced a crisis when Kim Kwang-hyun, who was scheduled to start on day one, was demoted to the second team due to the WBC drinking scandal in March. However, an explosion from the batting line-up, led by replacement starter Baek Seung-geon, led to a 14-2 victory over Samsung on the first day, and the team then swept the two-game series against Kiwoom. Kiwoom lost their third straight game and fell three games behind the seventh-placed Samsung Lions, who beat the Hanwha Eagles earlier in the day.
SSG’s Oh Won-seok and Kiwoom’s Jung Chan-heon started the game.
Oh Won-seok was 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA in nine games this season. His last outing was against the LG Twins on 23 May, when he gave up six runs on six hits in five innings. With the Asian Games on the horizon, Oh clearly needed to pitch well this time around, as he was close to being named to the national team.
Jung Chan-heon, who filed for free agency after last season and almost went undrafted, went 1-3 with a 4.39 ERA in five games. He earned his first win on 23 May with a six-inning, three-hit shutout against KT Wiz, but struggled against Lotte on 28 May, giving up five runs on six hits in 4⅔ innings.
SSG’s starting lineup was Choi Ji-hoon (centre fielder), Choi Ju-hwan (second baseman), Choi Jeong (designated hitter), Eredia (left fielder), Han Yoo-seom (right fielder), Park Sung-sung (shortstop), Kim Sung-hyun (third baseman), Oh Tae-gon (!) and Kim Min-shik (catcher).
Kiwoom went with Kim Jun-wan (left fielder), Lee Hyung-jong (right fielder), Lee Jung-hoo (centre fielder), Russell (shortstop), Kim Hye-sung (second baseman), Lee Won-seok (designated hitter), Song Sung-moon (first baseman), Kim Hui-jip (third baseman) and Kim Dong-heon (catcher) to avenge the previous day’s disappointing loss.
There was a possibility that it would be a batting battle as it was a matchup of the fourth and fifth starting pitchers, but the starting pitchers pitched brilliantly.
It was a tense pitching battle with 0-0 until the third inning. SSG’s Oh Won-seok, who ended the first and second innings with a triple, gave up a triple to No. 9 Kim Dong-heon after two outs in the top of the third, but struck out Kim Jun-wan.
Kiwoom’s Jung Chan-heon continued to pitch well, allowing no hits until the third inning.
In the top of the fourth, Kiwoom took the lead. Lee Hyung-jong singled in the second, Lee Jung-hoo singled in the third and Russell singled in the fourth to load the bases with no outs. In the fifth, Kim Hye-sung grounded out to the shortstop, allowing Lee Hyung-jong to score from third to make it 1-0. Lee Won-seok struck out swinging on a full count with runners on first and third. With first baseman Kim Hye-sung running to second and catcher Kim Min-sik throwing to second, third baseman Lee Jung-hoo raced home, but second baseman Choi Joo-hwan cleared second base and stepped forward to make the catch and throw right back to the catcher, and Lee Jung-hoo was thrown out at the plate. It was a huge disappointment for Kiwoom to only score one run with the bases loaded. SSG’s fielding was good.
Oh Won-seok pitched the next six innings without any further damage. Six innings, three hits, two walks, three strikeouts, one run, quality start.
Chung Chan-heon was even better. He struck out Han Yoo-seom in the second inning and didn’t allow a hit except for Park Sung-hyun in the fifth inning when he reached on an error by the second baseman. In the bottom of the 6th, #8 Oh Tae-gon flied out to centre on the first pitch and #9 Kim Min-sik flied out to centre on three pitches. He struck out No. 1 Choi Ji-hoon on a full count. By the sixth inning, he had thrown 80 pitches. Even if the no-hitter continued, the pitch count was not easy. But in the seventh inning, a pitching change was made. Jeong Chan-heon went down and Won Jong-hyun came up.
Chung went six innings with no hits, four walks, five strikeouts and no runs.
Won Jong-hyun gave up a single to Choi Jung in the bottom of the seventh, but then retired Eredia and Hanyusum to preserve the 1-0 lead.
After Moon Seung-won pitched a scoreless seventh inning, SSG tied the game at 1-1 with a big one in the bottom of the eighth. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Jeon Eui-san, who replaced Oh Tae-gon, hit a tying solo shot over the right-centre field fence off Kiwoom’s third pitcher, Kim Sung-jin. In a 2B2S, he crushed a 147-kilometre pitch right down the middle of the plate for a 120-metre home run. It was his first career home run, seventh of the season and 1008th of his career.
In the top of the ninth, Ki took advantage. Two batters later, Kim Hye-sung, Lee Won-seok and Song Sung-moon hit three consecutive singles to load the bases against Seo Jin-yong, the No. 1 reliever. No. 8 Kim Tae-jin hit a hard-hit ball that rolled dramatically in front of the shortstop. Ba Sung-ho caught it and threw to second for the third out.
In the bottom of the ninth, SSG had a chance to end the game when Choi Jung walked, but Heredia struck out Kiwoom’s set-up man Kim Jae-woong to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, Kim Sung-hyun singled to right off Kiwoom’s Yang Hyun and Jeon Eui-san drew a full-count walk to put runners on first and second. No. 9 Kim Min-sik, who had gone 0-for-3 on the day, ended the game. On a full count, he pulled a six-pitch fastball over the first baseman’s head for a two-run double.