The Korean baseball team, led by head coach Ryu Joong-il, beat Taiwan 2-0 in the final of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games to achieve its fourth consecutive victory. After the game, Kang Baek-ho (24, KT Wiz), who won the gold medal, showed off his friendship by taking a commemorative photo with Taiwanese right-hander Liu Zhurong (24, Boston Red Sox). They reunited six years after the 2017 World Youth Baseball Championship.
The friendship of those who cross borders could also be confirmed on Liu Zhurong’s Instagram on the 13th. Liu Zhurong drew attention by posting a photo with Kang Baek-ho on his Instagram, leaving a message in Korean. 토토사이트
“It’s been a long time, my friend. It’s been almost six years since we met. I was so excited when I found out that you were going to the Asian Games. I already knew you were stressed before we met. That’s why I wanted to hug you and cheer you on whenever we meet without language. I’m sorry that you won as a team member of the opposing team, but I was happy to see you relieve your stress after the game as a friend,” Ryu Zlong said. “Let’s work hard for the baseball we love. Let’s compete on a better stage next time. See you again,” he said, promising to meet again. Kang Baek-ho also said, “Thank you. I’m proud of you, too,” he wrote in a comment, adding warmth.
Kang Baek-ho has had many ups and downs in international competitions. In the bronze medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the TV broadcast caught him chewing gum in the dugout, causing controversy, and in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Australia match in March this year, he played a bonehead play in which he was out while hitting a double and performing a ceremony.
This year’s Asian Games also had a bad start. Following the first group match against Hong Kong, he remained silent against Taiwan with no hit, and only had no hit in eight at-bats. In the match against Thailand, he barely reported his first hit in 11 at-bats of the tournament. However, Kang Baek-ho, who had three hits, one RBI and two runs in four at-bats, including a home run in the Super Round match against China, also had one hit in the final against Taiwan. Unfortunately, his opponent at the time was Liu Zlong.
Kang Baek-ho said, “I’ve known Ryu Zlong since I was a second grader in high school. We’ve been friends for eight years. “I’m a good friend who I’ve always kept in touch with, but I met him at a good place,” he said, glad to reunite with Liu Zhurong.
Right now, Kang Baek-ho’s eyes turn to fall baseball. Kang Baek-ho, who played in 71 regular-season games this year and left a disappointment with a batting average of .265 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs, clearly has a chance to make up for it as KT has confirmed second place in the regular season and has gone straight to the playoffs.
Ryu showed impressive pitching against South Korea. In particular, he pitched four innings alone, taking the mound as a relief pitcher following starting pitcher Lin Wi-min in the final. 4 innings, 1 hit, 6 strikeouts and no runs. The only hit he got was from Kang Baek-ho.
Ryu Zhurong, one of Boston’s prospects, appeared in 26 games (24 starts) in Double-A this year and pitched 114 ⅓ innings, recording 7 wins, 8 losses and a 5.35 ERA. His career in the minor leagues is 16 wins and 20 losses in 273 ⅔ innings in 65 games and a 5.39 ERA. On May 6, he was a starter in the first round of the doubleheader of the Double A Akron Rubber Ducks (under the Cleveland Guardians) and became the protagonist of No-Hitter. The game was played in seven innings.
The cross-border friendship of those who have blossomed in a world of harsh competition will continue in the future. This is because it seems very likely that they will reunite on the international stage soon.