“The players’ focus and determination is outstanding. I hope they can keep it up for the remaining three games.”
SSG Landers won 3-2 against the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at SSG Landers Field in Incheon, South Korea, on March 13.
SSG is in third place with 74 wins, three draws, and 64 losses. They are still in contention for the third spot, but have secured a spot in the postseason.
Starting pitcher Oh Won-seok took the mound for the 100th time in his career. He started the game with the bases loaded in the first inning, but kept the Kiwoom offense to a minimum. In the top of the fifth, he gave up a single to Ronnie Dawson with runners on first and second, but got help from right fielder Han Yoo-seom to get out of the jam. Han made an accurate throw to catcher Kim Min-sik, who threw out Kim Jae-hyun at second base.
Oh went six innings, allowing one run (one earned) on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts. This is the second consecutive season that he has pitched a complete game.
Following Oh Won-seok, Noh Kyung-eun pitched 1 1/3 innings without allowing a run and striking out four, and Ko Hyo-joon pitched ⅔ innings without allowing a run and striking out one. Noh went over 80 pitches in her 74th start of the season.
In the top of the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead, reliever Seo Jin-yong gave up a tying home run to Kim Hwijip with the bases loaded, but did not allow any further runs.
In the bottom of the ninth, SSG put runners on first and second with a sacrifice bunt by Oh Tae-gon after leadoff hitter Park Sung-hyun drew a walk. Choi Joo-hwan reached on an error. Kim Sung-hyun followed with a foul fly to right field, but Park Sung-sung tagged up and advanced to third. Pinch-hitter Ha Jae-hoon was hit by a pitch.
With two outs, Shin-soo Choo hit a line drive to first baseman Im Ji-yeol. Lim Ji-yeol fields it and throws to Moon Sung-hyun, who is covering the base, but misses the ball. Im Ji-yeol’s error gave SSG the win.
After the game, Kim Won-hyung said, “(Oh) Won-seok must have been under pressure, but he played a big role in an important game. He pitched well in the 스포츠토토 first inning and paved the way for the win.” “Kyung-eun continues to pitch well in the bullpen. Hyo-joon gave up a run, as did Jin-yong, but he did a good job.”
“(Choo) Shin-soo sprinted in the final inning and that’s how we got the win,” he said. “It shows the focus and the will to win. We have three games left. I hope they can keep going.”