A legend marvels…Rookie outfielder’s laser homer saves KT in crisis

Rookie outfielder Jeong Joon-young saved the day for KT with a clothesline home run.

KT Wiz won the 12th game of the season against the Samsung Lions of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 8-7 at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Wednesday.

KT avenged the previous day’s loss to sweep the three-game weekend series. They now have 39 wins, two ties and 42 losses on the season. Samsung, meanwhile, saw its winning streak come to an end, falling to 32 wins and 51 losses.

On the road, KT fielded the following starting lineup: Kim Min-hyuk (right fielder), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Anthony Alford (left fielder), Park Byung-ho (first baseman), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Hwang Jae-kyun (third baseman), Oh Yoon-seok (second baseman), Moon Sang-chul (designated hitter), and Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder).

Samsung countered with Kim Hyun-joon (center fielder), Kim Ji-chan (second baseman), Koo Ja-uk (designated hitter), Kang Min-ho (catcher), Jose Pirela (left fielder), Kim Dong-jin (third baseman), Ryu Ji-hyuk (first baseman), Kim Sung-yoon (right fielder), and Lee Jae-hyun (shortstop).

Samsung took the lead in the first inning. In the first inning, Kim Hyun-joon and Kim Ji-chan set the table with a single to right and a walk to put runners on first and second. Koo Ja-rook then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Kang Min-ho hit a leadoff double. However, Pirela singled to right and Kim Dong-jin walked to load the bases, but Ryu Ji-hyuk and Kim Sung-yoon singled to end the inning.

KT counterattacked in the third inning. Kim Min-hyuk led off with a single up the middle. Kim Sang-soo and Alford followed with back-to-back singles, but Park Byung-ho’s throwing error to first base by second baseman Kim Ji-chan put runners on first and third, and Jang Sung-woo followed with an RBI single to left.

In the fourth inning, Oh Yoon-seok singled up the middle and Choi Jae-dae drew a 13-pitch walk to put runners on first and second, and Kim Min-hyuk hit a two-run double. Then, in the fifth inning, Jang Jang-woo, Hwang Jae-gyun, and Oh Yoon-seok hit back-to-back singles to load the bases with two outs, and Choi Byeong-dae drove in the winning run with a push single.

Samsung would not go away. In the top of the fifth, Kang Min-ho walked and Pirela singled to left to put runners on first and second with no outs. Kim Dong-jin followed with a single to right, but right fielder Kim Min-hyuk made a throwing error, allowing Kang to score from second. Ryu Ji-hyuk then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game at 4-4.

The deciding run came in the seventh inning. One out later, Hwang Jae-gyun and pinch-hitter Lee Ho-yeon hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Pinch-hitter Kang Baek-ho struck out, but Cho Jae-dae broke the 4-4 tie with an RBI single to left, followed by Kim Min-hyuk’s RBI double and Kim Sang-soo’s RBI single to drive in the winning run.

In the bottom of the eighth, Samsung got back-to-back singles from Kang Kang-ul, Kim Hyun-joon, and Kim Ji-chan to load the bases, and then Koo Ja-rook doubled and Pirela singled to make it 7-8. With two outs and runners on first and second, Ryu Ji-hyeok singled to left, but left fielder Jung Joon-young made a laser throw to catch Ahn Ju-hyung at second trying to score. Inning over. SPOTV commentator Jung Min-tae, a former KBO legend, marveled, “How can you play defense so well?”

After Yeo Byeol-seong was relieved after four innings of six hits, five walks, one strikeout, and four runs (three earned), Kim Min-soo, Park Se-jin, Lee Sang-dong, Park Young-hyun, and Kim Jae-yoon took over. Lee earned his third win of the season and Kim Jae-yoon picked up his 15th save. At the plate, Kim Min-hyuk had a one-hit wonder with six hits, three doubles and four RBIs.

Samsung ace David Buchanan also struggled, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings. Taking the loss was Kim Tae-hoon. Kim Dong-jin had three hits in the loss.

KT will have one day off before returning to action on the 25th for a three-game midweek series at home against LG. Samsung welcomes SSG at home. 먹튀검증

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