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“I will live up to the expectations of my fans”

“Yesterday (30th), I have been imagining a lot of scenes like that when Bae Jeong-dae hit a grand slam. “We will live up to the expectations of our fans.”

Ho-yeon Lee (KT Wiz), who appeared on the fall baseball stage for the first time, shared her thoughts.

Ho-yeon Lee met with reporters ahead of the second game of the 2023 KBO postseason playoffs (best of 5) against NC Dinos held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 31st.

Lee Ho-yeon, a right-handed left-handed hitting infielder who was selected by the Lotte Giants as the 53rd overall pick in the second 6th round in 2018, moved to KT through a trade in the middle of this season.

Initially, he was not a starting player, but he led KT's excellent performance based on his excellent hitting skills. This year, he played in 85 games and had a batting average of 0.278 (59 hits in 212 at-bats) with 3 home runs and 17 RBIs.

In particular, the 30th became an unforgettable day for Lee Ho-yeon. I experienced fall baseball for the first time through the first game of the playoffs against NC.

Ho-yeon Lee came to the plate in place of Kyung-soo Park in the bottom of the 5th inning when KT was behind 1-8 with 2 outs and runners on first base. The opponent is 'super ace' Eric Peddy, who has 20 wins, 6 losses, 209 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.00 in 30 games this season.

But Lee Ho-yeon did not waver. He targeted a 4-pitch, 152km two-seamer and hit a left-field hit. Unfortunately, he was unable to hit home due to a missed follow-up hit. Afterwards, he played defense and was replaced by pinch hitter Kim Min-hyuk during the offense in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Ho-yeon Lee said of his first fall baseball experience, “My body was floating. He was nervous. It felt different (from the regular league). (Leaves during the game) I think it's more like that. “Still, I tried to do the same thing (as in the regular league).”

The scene that Ho-yeon Lee imagined most during fall baseball was when he hit a thrilling home run. In particular, Bae Jeong-dae's performance of hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 1 was a moment that Lee Ho-yeon had always imagined.

He said, “I’ve been imagining a lot of scenes like that yesterday when Bae Jung-dae hit the grand slam. “He imagines a lot of such scenes,” his eyes twinkled.

KT, which ranked second in the regular league, advanced directly to the playoffs and was given a rest period after the regular season. During this period, Ho-yeon Lee mainly focused on attack power and improved his physical condition.

He said, “I trained with a little more focus on the bat. He seems to have built up a lot of stamina. “He also exercised a lot,” he said, nodding his head.

KT unfortunately bowed to NC 5-9 in the first game. They are aiming for a counterattack through the second match taking place today. Above all, the presence of experienced veteran players such as Jang Seong-woo and Hwang Jae-gyun is KT's biggest support.

Ho-yeon Lee said, “(After the first game) there wasn’t much to talk about with the players. I just prepared it the same way. “You just have to show it again today,” he said. “The older guys with a lot of experience teach a lot to the kids below them.” “Yesterday, Seongwoo Jang told me how he felt before the game,” he said, expressing his gratitude.

Numerous KT fans visited the stadium the day before and cheered enthusiastically. This is a great help to Lee Ho-yeon. Furthermore, he wants to live up to these expectations.

Hoyeon Lee said, “It was less cold than I thought. “I think it’s more because of the fans’ enthusiasm,” he said, adding strength to his voice, saying, “I will live up to the fans’ expectations.”


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Friday, December 22, 2023
 
 
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