Kia holds off league-leading LG with substitute starters to sweep doubleheader.
KIA rallied from a 5-6 deficit in the eighth inning to win the first game of a doubleheader against LG in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 7-6 at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Monday. KIA (58W52L2D), which escaped a three-game losing streak, won the all-important Game 1 of the doubleheader and set the stage for a winning streak. On the other hand, LG (70W45L2D), which became the first team in the league to reach the 70-win plateau the previous day, failed to win three straight games, increasing the pressure on its substitute starters in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Kia got a strong start from Hwang Dong-ha, who exceeded expectations with 4⅓ innings of two-run ball. From the first game of the doubleheader, the team used a total of seven bullpen members, from Kim Dae-yu to Jung Hae-young, to get the win. At the plate, Park Chan-ho led the way with three hits, including the game-winner in the eighth inning. Hwang Dae-in had one home run and Na Sung-beom had one RBI, while Ko Jong-wook did his part by coming in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and hitting the decisive RBI single.
For LG, starter Im Chan-kyu threw 98 pitches in 5⅔ innings, giving up six hits and four runs (three earned). Relievers Jung Woo-young, Yoo Young-chan, and Go Woo-seok all struggled. At the plate, leadoff hitter Hong Chang-ki went 1-for-2 with a walk, while Park Dong-won had two hits, including a home run, and Oh Ji-hwan also had two hits. Moon Sung-ju also had a good showing with one hit, two walks and one RBI, but it didn’t translate into a win for the team.
After taking a break from the intense midweek three-game series against KT with a sweep (2-1), LG rode a strong batting lineup to a big win on the eighth. All of their starters came out for Game 1 of the doubleheader. The team was determined to secure the first game as it would reduce the psychological pressure ahead of the second game. Right-hander Im Chan-kyu started the game.
On the other hand, KIA, which is in a losing streak, also hit a double. Hwang Dong-ha, a rookie right-hander who is relatively familiar with day games in the Futures League, started the game. The team also showed that they realize the importance of Game 1 by bringing in their main catcher Kim Tae-gun for Game 1. Other notable absences were Choi Won-jun, who hasn’t been hitting well, and Lee Woo-sung, who started in left field. Both teams had more or less full bullpens, so it was going to be a close game.
Hwang Dong-ha, the 21-year-old rookie who upset the league leader, puts pressure on LG
Initially, the starting matchup favored LG with Lim Chan-kyu. KIA went with substitute starter Hwang Dong-ha. It was only his second start of the year, but he cooked LG’s batting lineup, which is one of the strongest in the league, and embarrassed them. Even with all of LG’s top hitters at the plate, they were unable to get anything going.
Hwang was cruising until the third inning. He retired the first three batters he faced, and in the second, he gave up a hit to Moon Bo-kyung after the first inning, but he was able to get out of the jam. In the third, Moon struck out Park Hae-min and gave up a walk to Hong Chang-ki, but he got Shin Min-jae to fly out to left field to end the first three innings. He didn’t allow a single long ball. Plus, he kept most of the balls in the infield.
KIA then backed up Hwang Dong-ha with a run in the top of the third. The leadoff hitter, Hwang Dae-in, was swinging hard. When he saw a four-pitch changeup at 2B-1S, he didn’t miss it and connected with a solo home run to left field. One out later, Park Chan-ho singled to center field. Third baseman Moon Bo-kyung couldn’t catch the ball at first. Kim Do-young popped out to shortstop, but Na Sung-bum was there to relieve. He hit a double down the right-field line. Park Chan-ho, the speedy first baseman, made a diligent run and came home.
In the fourth inning, Hwang Dong-ha cooked both Kim Hyun-soo and Austin Moon Bo-kyung with singles and made LG nervous. KIA, on the other hand, added a run in the fourth inning. After the leadoff hitter Socrates hit a double to right-center field, Kim Sun-bin laid down a sacrifice bunt. The team was determined to score runs. Then, with the bases loaded and Lee Woo-sung at third base, LG shortstop Oh Ji-hwan couldn’t catch the ball, allowing KIA to add a run. It wasn’t a hard hit, but there were times when Oh fell out of the tree.
LG’s fresh-faced counterattack shakes up KIA with a mid-game footwork
But league leader LG wasn’t going to sit back. Trailing 0-3 in the fifth inning, they rallied. Leadoff hitter Oh Ji-hwan led off with a single to right, and Park Dong-won followed with a single to left. Moon Sung-joo followed with a single that landed in front of the center fielder. Park Hae-min laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third.
KIA replaced Hwang Dong-ha with Kim Dae-yu on the mound. The change came as the batting order reached three. Kim Dae-yoo gave up a sacrifice fly to Hong Chang-ki, but no further runs were scored. There was no comeback.
Then, with a 3-2 lead, KIA rallied in the sixth inning. Something was bothering the LG mound, and Jung Woo-young. Two batters later, Lee Woo-sung hit a double to left field. LG pulled starter Im Chan-kyu and brought in Jung Woo-young, but his pitches weren’t working. Hwang Dae-in drew a walk. Kim Tae-gun followed with an RBI single to right field. Then, Park Chan-ho batted and a wild pitch brought in another run. Kia took a 5-2 lead and seemed to have the game won.
However, LG was still strong. Trailing 2-5 in the seventh inning, they stormed back to change both the score and the mood of the game. One inning later, Park Dong-won hit a solo home run to left field. He became the first LG catcher to hit 20 home runs since Jo In-sung in 2010. Moon Sung-joo and Park Hae-min followed with back-to-back singles to keep the momentum going. Park Hae-min came around to score when his foul tip strikeout was overturned after video review.
KIA tried to protect the lead by bringing in Lim Ki-young and then Jeon Sang-hyun, but Hong Chang-ki hit a single to right to cut the deficit to 4-5, 1 run. This is where LG’s aggressive infield play shined. Hong Chang-ki started to run to second base, and the replay showed her heading for second. Seeing this, Park Hae-min, the third baseman, boldly broke off his start and ran home. The ball was thrown to second base, but before Kim Tae-gun could tag him, Park swept home first, tying the game at 5-5. The video replay saved Park Hae-min, who delivered the game-winning punch to KIA.
LG put runners on first and third when Shin Min-jae was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a stolen base. With runners on second and third, Kim Hyun-soo’s grounder to the second baseman scored a run to make it 6-5.
LG-KIA bullpens mobilized, and KIA’s presser worked.
With a one-run lead, LG could not guarantee victory, but KIA still had three innings to score. Both teams mobilized their bullpens. LG’s veteran Kim Jin-sung shut down KIA’s offense in the seventh inning. LG also had a chance in the top of the eighth when Oh Ji-hwan doubled to put runners on second and third, but Choi Ji-min struck out Park Hae-min to end the threat.
KIA made a last-ditch effort to fight back. Trailing 5-6 in the top of the eighth inning, Kim Sun-bin singled and Lee Woo-sung’s throw to the first baseman deflected for an infield single. Here, KIA brought in their best pinch-hitter, Ko Jong-wook. Ko Jong-wook fulfilled the bench’s choice with a single. It was a dramatic tie.
Park Chan-ho shined in the next two innings. LG brought in closer Ko Woo-seok early, but Park Chan-ho turned the game around with a clean hit to center field after a six-pitch battle. With a one-run lead, KIA brought out Jung Hae-young in the bottom of the ninth to end LG’s late rally.메이저사이트
Kia’s Lee Yi-ri and LG’s Son Ju-young will start Game 2 after a 30-minute break following the conclusion of Game 1. Lee is 10-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 22 games this season. In two games for LG, Lee is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA. Son Ju-young, LG’s 2017 first-round (2nd overall) pick, is making his first start of the season. In 14 games in the Futures League, he is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA.