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Sejong City Youth Baseball Team wins the Andong Hahoe Tal Cup…

The Sejong City youth baseball team (head coach Jae-hyuk Jang) won the '2nd Andong Hahoe Talbae National Children's Baseball Competition' held in Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do. After a draw in the finals and two shootouts, they defeated the South Chungcheong Asan Youth Baseball Team (head coach Hwang Min-ho) 11-7 and reached the top of the Youth Blue Dragon (U-13) League, the strongest league, for the first time in 7 years since its founding.

Hosted by the Andong City Baseball Softball Association and organized by the Korea Youth Baseball Federation (Chairman Lee Sang-geun), this tournament was held for 6 days from the 7th to the 12th at 7 stadiums, including Andong Yongsang Sports Park Baseball Stadium. It took place with a total of 2,000 people including players and parents from 72 teams participating. It was held with a lot of interest, with support from Andong City, Andong City Sports Council, baseball equipment company Wepan (Gold Bat), Storm Baseball, Finn Sports, Waniel-Diameng, Dominion, and aminoregen, a muscle and ligament reinforcement functional food. It was held in the form of a preliminary group stage and a final tournament. Players from the Korea Youth Baseball Federation competed for the championship cup in a total of seven categories, including Sprout League (U-9), Dream League (U-11), Youth League (U-13), and Junior League (U-16).

The Sejong City Youth Baseball Team won the Blue Dragon Youth League (U-13), the strongest league. This year, in the U-12 National Youth Baseball Tournament, the largest tournament for elementary school baseball teams in the country, held in Uljin, the team took second place by defeating strong elementary school teams, and then showed off their potential by winning this tournament. In the first game of the preliminary round, against the Busan MSG Youth Baseball Team (coach Min-seok Yoo), Lee Yu-chan (Dajung Elementary School 6) got off to a good start by winning 8-4 with 2 hits and 4 RBIs in 3 at-bats.

In the second game, they met with the Daejeon Seo-gu youth baseball team led by former Hanwha Eagles coach Yeon Kyeong-heum. Kim Do-kyung (Sodam Elementary School 6), nicknamed ‘Youth Baseball Ohtani’, went 4-for-4 with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and two scoreless innings while Lee Min-jae (Duru Elementary School 5) pitched 3 scoreless innings and won with a shutout of 6-0. reaped. In the last game of the preliminary round, they defeated the Incheon Seo-gu Youth Baseball Team (coach Jong-cheol Kim), the winner of the previous tournament. Go Jun-seo (Boram Elementary School 6) had 2 hits, 1 RBI, and 2 runs in 2 at-bats, and Lee Yu-chan's 3 innings and 1 run in the starting win led to a 5-1 win and a direct ticket to the semifinals by finishing first in the group with 3 wins in the preliminary round.

In the semifinals, they clashed with Seoul's emerging powerhouse, the Gangnam Dogok Youth Baseball Team (head coach Yoon Jeong-ho). In the top of the first inning, Kim Do-kyung's superior home run as the leadoff hitter succeeded in taking the lead, and Choi Si-woo (Dodam Elementary School 6) pitched 6 K scoreless innings in 3 innings to report a 4-0 victory. In the finals, they competed against the traditional powerhouse Asan City Youth Baseball Team (head coach Hwang Min-ho). The Asan City Youth Baseball Team is a powerhouse that has produced KBO professional rookie nominees for two consecutive years. This is the team that produced Park Ji-ho of the Doosan Bears this year and Dong-hyuk Kwon of the LG Twins last year.

The Sejong City youth baseball team took the lead by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning, including Kim Do-kyung's leadoff hitter's double in the middle of the middle and female player Seon Joo-ha (Dodam Elementary School 6)'s RBI double to the right-center. Afterwards, the game continued until the 4th inning with a tight pitching battle between Sejong City Kim Do-kyung and Asan City Lee Ji-ho (Handeul Mulbit Elementary School 6). In the bottom of the 5th inning, the game returned to square one. Asan City scored 2 points with three consecutive hits by Minsan (Bulmu Elementary School 5), Lee Ye-jun (Tangjeong Elementary School 6), and Lee Ji-ho, making it 2-2. In the end, neither team was able to score an additional point until the bottom of the sixth inning, and the game went into a shootout.

The Sejong City youth baseball team gained momentum by scoring 5 points in the first inning of the 7th inning. However, the defense gave up 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, resulting in a 7-7 tie. Victory was confirmed in the second penalty shoot-out that was held again. After scoring 4 points with hits by Seon Joo-ha, Yoon Gyu-bin (Daepyeong Elementary School 6th), and Choi Si-woo, they blocked the opponent's attack without giving up a score. After a spectacular match that lasted until the 8th inning, they won 11-7, earning their first thrilling victory as a Youth Blue Dragon (U-13) team in 7 years since its founding. 

Kim Do-kyung (Sejong City Youth Baseball Team, Sodam Elementary School 6), who led the team to the championship with a batting average of 0.417 with 5 hits in 12 at bats, 3 RBIs, and 5.1 innings as a pitcher in this tournament, won the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) of the tournament, and Lee Ji-ho (Chungnam Asan City Youth Baseball Team) , Handeul Mulbit Elementary School 6) and Choi Si-woo (Sejong City Youth Baseball Team, Dodam Elementary School 6) won the Outstanding Player Award. Kim Do-kyung (Sejong City Youth Baseball Team, Sodam Elementary 6th), who was honored as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, said, “I am so happy that I was able to strike out in the last inning. I will definitely win the Youth Blue Dragon League and receive the Most Valuable Player Award, which is one of my bucket list items. “I was so happy that my wish came true.” “I am grateful to my parents who gave me a lot of support. My role model is SSG player Kim Gwang-hyun. I like the fact that his fast ball and breaking ball with good control look so cool,” he said. 

Coach Jang Jae-hyuk of the Sejong City Youth Baseball Team, who won the competition's manager's award, said, "I am very happy to have won the youth Blue Dragon League for the first time in 7 years since its founding. I am grateful to the players for their hard work until we won the championship, and I am grateful to my parents for their passionate support." “I feel rewarded for the past 7 years of hard work and sweat based on the basics between coaches and players to win the Youth Blue Dragon League, the main game of the Baseball Federation. We will continue to work hard to help our children achieve even bigger dreams,” he pledged. did. Lee Sang-geun, president of the Korea Youth Baseball Federation, said, “The Andong Games, which are essential for the revitalization of youth baseball in the Gyeongsang region, were held in good facilities and climate and received very good reviews from the players and parents who participated,” adding, “Andong City provides history and culture to our players.” “It is also an ideal place to experience a variety of foods. I would like to thank Andong Mayor Ki-chang Kwon and Andong City Sports Council President Ahn Yun-hyo for taking care of every detail and providing a lot of support during the competition.”
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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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