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Will lead his team to a higher place.

Son Ah-seop is the closest player to the batting champion as of before the game on the 14th. Currently, he has five homers and 65 RBIs in 138 games and a batting average of 0.342 (186 hits in 544 at-bats), and is confidently ranked first in this category, beating Koo Ja-wook (Samsung Lions) of 0.340 (152 hits in 447 at-bats).

Son Ah-seop, who has been wearing an NC uniform since the 2021 season after being nominated by the Lotte Giants with the 29th overall pick in the second and fourth rounds in 2007, has been a representative hitter in the KBO League. He has won the most hits title (2012, 2013, and 2017) three times, and ranks second behind Park Yong-taek (former LG Twins) KBSN sports commentator (2504 hits) in the KBO League history.

On top of that, he also set up a golden tower of 150 hits for eight consecutive seasons from the 2016 season to this season. This was a new record that exceeded the seven seasons achieved by Park Yong-taek from the 2012 season to the 2018 season.

Son Ah-seop, the epitome of steadiness like this, has never been the king of hitting. Both 2013 (0.345) and 2020 (0.352) ranked second, but failed to cross the walls of Lee Byung-kyu (0.348, then LG) and Choi Hyung-woo (0.354, Kia Tigers), respectively. Leaving the disappointment behind, Son Ah-seop is aiming to become the first batting king in his career this season.

Son Ah-seop, who had a batting average of 0.277 (152 hits in 548 at-bats) last year, was relatively sluggish with four home runs and 48 RBIs, and received concerns about an "aging curve." However, he has consistently performed well since the beginning of this year and succeeded in reviving. He started the season without difficulty with a batting average of 0.294 in April, and his monthly batting average had never fallen below .300 before this month. In particular, he hit a batting average of 0.407 in September, literally swinging the bat of fire.

Since then, Son Ah-seop has appeared to be somewhat weak with a batting average of 0.262, but he has rekindled the race by producing hits in succession against the Doosan Bears (2 hits in 4 at-bats) in Jamsil on the 12th and against LG in Changwon on the 13th (1 hit in 3 at-bats). If this momentum continues a little longer, it is highly likely that he will face his first individual batting title.

Above all, Son Ah-seop's competition for batting king is more important because this part can be directly related to NC's performance this season. NC, which is currently in fourth place with 74 wins, 2 draws and 65 losses, is fiercely competing for third place with SSG Landers (74 wins, 3 draws and 64 losses) and Doosan Bears (73 wins, 2 draws and 65 losses) in fifth place.

It has been confirmed to advance to the postseason for the first time in three years since the 2020 season, when it won the first-ever integrated championship, but the third place, which has the advantage of being able to play fall baseball from the semi-playoffs, is a goal that is difficult to give up easily for NC. Son Ah-seop's hard hit is essential for NC, which has only three games left in the regular league, to rise higher than its competitors.

Son Ah-seop, who expressed his ambition to place his team NC higher than his desire to be the batting king all season. Indeed, much attention is being paid to whether he will be able to raise NC's ranking by winning the batting king this time.
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Friday, October 13, 2023

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