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ith a 3-0 lead, one out, and a runner on third base, Jo Soo-haeng hit a hard ball to shortstop, but shortstop Kim Joo-won (NC Dinos) caught the ball too well. It’s a shame that we couldn’t run away with the score 4-0.”
NC won 14-9 in the first game of the 2023 KBO League postseason (PS) wild card (WC) decision held at Changwon NC Park on the 19th. Looking at the score alone, the game was a slugfest. The Series MVP (Best Player) was Seo Ho-cheol (NC), who hit 6 RBIs including a grand slam.
But it wasn't the bat that set the tone. On this day, it was Doosan who took the lead first. From the 1st to the 3rd inning, they scored a run each inning and took a three-point lead. But it wasn't cool. Even if the runner went out, he couldn't come in, so he couldn't run away.
The top of the second inning was representative. After leadoff hitter Kang Seung-ho hit a single, Doosan scored a clean run with follow-up hitter Kim In-tae's double. They were able to take down the shaky NC starter Tanner Turley, but in the end they were unable to score one more point. With no outs and no outs on second base, Heo Gyeong-min's ground ball put the team on third base with one out.
Here, he was blocked once by Kim Joo-won. Heo Gyeong-min's batted ball was clearly a hit course that separated the game from 3-U, but Kim Joo-won chased it and caught it, and even though it was a long way to first base, he threw accurately and quickly and caught Heo Gyeong-min. It was a ‘national-level’ defense that literally erased the hit.
Still, Doosan had a chance. If you hit a good ball, you can score a clean score, but Cho Su-haeng hit a strong ball. The batted ball went straight to Kim Joo-won, and Kim Joo-won prevented the runner from entering and caught Jo Joo-won. In the end, Doosan finished the inning without scoring any additional points.
Kim Joo-won's defense was already outstanding from the first inning when he gave up the first run. Doosan took the opportunity with one out and 2nd and 3rd bases, but Yang Eui-ji's ground ball was headed for the shortstop. It was a course where a hit was possible, but Kim Joo-won saved it. We couldn't stop the loss. However, Kim Joo-won did not miss second baseman Jose Rojas, who mistakenly took the starting dash next to him instead of first base. In the end, Doosan lost Rojas, the leading scorer, despite Kim Jae-ho's score, and the game ended without any additional points.
Kim Joo-won, who met with reporters in front of the home team's locker room after the game, was asked about Heo Gyeong-min's hit at bat in the 4th inning, and he recalled, "I chased after that ball to catch it the same way. I thought I could win the game if I caught it and immediately threw it to first base, so I think I threw it right away without any other thought." .
He said that the experience of winning a gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) was also helpful. Kim Joo-won said, "Going into this game after playing such a big game, I felt a little more relaxed and less nervous. I was able to play with peace of mind."
He said he was not as nervous as he thought about his first fall baseball. Kim Joo-won laughed, saying, “It was completely different from the regular season. It was much more fun and better.” He also added, "I was a little nervous when I first performed the national ceremony, but I felt fine once I started playing."
His first button worked well. Kim Joo-won's first fall baseball game is currently in progress. NC will face SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 22nd. Kim Joo-won pledged, “It is natural to try to win every game. I will do my best in every game as well.”
Thursday, October 19, 2023