Chili peppers don’t have peppers like this. The Kiwoom Heroes halted the momentum of the KT Wiz, who were on a roll.
Kiwoom swept KT 7-0 in the final game of the weekend series at Gocheok Sky Dome on Wednesday behind a strong pitching performance from ace Hurado and an evenly matched batting lineup that pounded out 12 hits.
Kiwoom currently sits in ninth place out of 10 clubs in the KBO. However, after winning 6-2 on the first day and 3-0 on the second, they swept the series against KT. KT, which finished August with a winning percentage of 8.026 (19-4) and threatened to overtake LG in the standings, has been stymied since the start of September.
The team had the KBO’s top two hitters in Lee Jung-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin. Before Lee Jung-hoo left last winter, the team invested heavily in free agents, hoping to win its first championship.
However, Won Jong-hyun was injured and Lee Hyung-jong was sluggish. They also had the misfortune of losing both Lee Jung-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin to injuries during the season. The confidence of the team, which had been saying “nine fall baseball games in 10 years,” was diminished to the point where they were in danger of finishing last.
Kim Byung-wook of Kiwoom against KT at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 2nd.
The weekend series sweep of KT was a testament to the manager’s determination, as the team overcame a disadvantage in the starting matchups of Jang Jae-young-Young-pyo and Kim Sun-ki-Bae Je-seong to win back-to-back games.
On the mound, Hoo-Ra was fantastic as well, dominating the KT bats. With a fastball that topped out at 149 kilometers and a mix of two-seamers, changeups, and sliders, the KT batters’ bats were in a constant state of flux. Furado gave up just one hit (Hwang Jae-gyun) until the seventh inning, when he retired 20 consecutive batters without allowing a single hit. Eight strikeouts were a bonus.
KT got back-to-back hits from Park Byung-ho and Ahn Chi-young against Yoon Seok-won in the bottom of the inning, but were unable to capitalize.
The Kiwoom bats, on the other hand, were on fire early against KT’s Kim Min-soo, who was making his first start in 1180 days. In the bottom of the third inning, Lim Byung-wook’s hard hit ball dropped in front of Alford in left field and he quickly stole second base. KT’s defense held on to Kim Soo-hwan’s hard-hit line drive to right field and Kim Tae-jin’s hard-hit line drive to the side of the infield, but eventually gave up a three-run double to Dawson with two outs. Dawson sparked excitement with a ceremony that featured a dazzling step.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Kiwoom got a run back when Lim Byung-wook hit a two-run double to left-center field in a bases-loaded situation that started with a leadoff double by Lee Ju-hyung. With runners on second and third, Kim Xiang followed with another RBI double against KT’s second pitcher, Joy Hyun, and the score was quickly extended to 6-0.안전놀이터
Kiwoom added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning with four consecutive hits from Kim Soo-hwan, Kim Xiang, Kim Tae-jin, and Kim Hye-sung, but failed to capitalize on the extra base hit. However, it was enough to seal the win. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol tried to change the mood with a series of veteran substitutions, starting with Park Kyung-soo in the fifth, followed by Hwang Jae-gyun and Kim Min-hyuk in the sixth and Choi Jae-dae in the seventh, but to no avail. Kiwoom brought in Ha Young-min in the eighth and Kim Sung-jin in the ninth to shut down the KT bats and close out the game.