‘Lifetime first KS save’ is a second-year pro pitcher
With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 of the Korean Series, KT Park Young-hyun, a fresh-faced, second-year professional pitcher, took the mound and closed out the game with a dominant performance.
KT has been on a magical journey in fall baseball. They dropped two games in the playoffs against NC and took all three games to complete a reverse sweep. The scary momentum continued in Game 1 of the Korean Series.
Jamsil Stadium on April 7, the first game of the Korean Series between LG and KT. In the first inning, both teams committed errors and gave up runs. In the first inning, KT’s leadoff hitter Kim Sang-soo singled up the middle and stole second base. 온라인카지노 A throwing error by LG catcher Park Dong-won allowed Kim to easily advance to third base. Hwang Jae-gyun’s grounder to shortstop brought home Kim Sang-soo to take the lead.
In the bottom of the first inning, LG fought back. After the first inning, Park Hae-min and Kim Hyun-soo hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third. In the fourth, Austin’s grounder to second allowed Park to score from third to tie the game. With one out, Moon Bo-kyung hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
KT tied the game in the top of the fourth inning when Jang Jang-woo singled to right field with runners on first and second and Hwang Jae-gyun, the second baseman, came home. During the replay, LG shortstop Oh Ji-hwan’s throw to home plate went sideways, causing Alford, who was trying to run back to third base, to fly home again. Catcher Park Dong-won, who caught the sideways ball, quickly threw it to first baseman Austin, who was in home base coverage, and caught Alford, who was digging into home plate, to prevent a comeback. It was a disappointing scene for KT.
Tied at 2-2 going into the ninth inning. In the top of the ninth inning, with two outs, KT’s Moon Sang-chul hit a big shot off LG closer Ko Woo-seok that hit the left field fence, bringing home the first run. After the comeback in the final inning, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol sent Park Young-hyun to the mound in place of Kim Jae-yoon in the bottom of the ninth.
It was the first Korean Series appearance for Young-hyun Park, who has been KT’s top pitcher this season and became the youngest player in the KBO with 32 holds. After becoming the youngest postseason saves in history in last year’s semifinals, Young-hyun was no slouch on the bigger stage a year later, throwing his pitches in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Korean Series.
One long ball could tie the game.
After being hit in the leg by a hard-hit pitch against the first batter, LG’s Moon Sung-joo, Young-hyun quickly picked up the ball and tagged the batter himself for the out. After making eye contact with coach Kim Tae-han, who rushed to the mound with his trainer, Young-hyun smiled as if it was no big deal. Even in his first Korean Series, the second-year pro seemed to be enjoying the game without any nerves.
Confident after getting the first out, KT’s Young-hyun Park’s ball sailed into catcher Jang Jang-woo’s mitt with more force than the number on the plate. After throwing a 144-kilometer fastball for a grounder to second against LG’s Shin Min-jae, who had a multi-hit game on the day, and a 147-kilometer fastball in the middle of the plate against Hong Chang-gi two innings later for a swinging strikeout, Park Young-hyun pumped his fist in the air after recording his first career save on the Korean Series mound.
In a moment that had both teams’ dugouts sweating, KT had the first laugh at the second-year pro’s confident pitching. After preserving the one-run victory, Park shared a passionate hug with catcher Jang Sung-woo. Manager Lee Kang-cheol stroked Young-hyun’s head as his faith paid off.
After the game, Lee Kang-cheol talked about his decision to put Park Young-hyun on the mound instead of closer Kim Jae-yoon, saying, “I had to think about the extra innings. I thought about it until the 12th inning, so I went with Young-hyun instead of Kim Jae-yoon.”