Ryu Joong-il, a former shortstop of one of the greatest shortstops of all time, examines the ground characteristics in the Land of Showdown.
The South Korean baseball team, led by coach Ryu Jung-il, arrived at the Xiaoxing Baseball and Softball Center on Monday for acclimatization training. It was the team’s first day on the field since arriving in Hangzhou, China, on Aug. 28. The Korean team practiced on the second pitch from 5 p.m. onward.
When the players stepped onto the field, they started with defensive drills to get used to the ground. First, they practiced preparing for bunts. At first, Moon Bo-kyung, Kang Baek-ho, and Noh Si-hwan played first base. Kim Joo-won and Noh Si-hwan were assigned to third base for the defense drills.
When the pitchers were removed and the team focused on infield defense, Moon Bo-kyung and Kang Baek-ho were at first base, Kim Hye-sung and Kim Ji-chan at second base, and Kim Joo-won at shortstop. Only Noh Si-hwan remained at third base. Choi Won-jun, a utility player who can also play infield defense, prepared for the outfield.
After the training, coach Ryu Jung-il said, “We will train today and tomorrow and start the game on the 1st. The players are in good shape,” he said, adding, “As for the ground, the artificial turf is new. As expected, the length is a bit long. When it’s long, first of all, the batting is slower and there’s a bounce. I told the players to be careful because the balls bounce a little bit. I told the players to be careful because the balls bounce a little bit.”
Shortstop Park Sung-sung also tried some defensive drills and said, “The grass is long and bounces a bit. There were some ambiguous pitches.”
The starting rotation for the gold medal game has already been communicated to the players. Coach Ryu Jung-il said, “We have a technical committee tomorrow. I don’t know if we will announce the starting pitchers in advance or on the day of the tournament,” Ryu said, adding that he would not reveal the details until tomorrow. The pitchers laughed it off as a “secret.” “We’ll be ready for the date,” he assured me.
The mound is also an environmental variable that varies from ballpark to ballpark. Ryu Jung-il said, “It’s hard, and it seems to have some height. It goes down steeply, and I think the players will have to adapt well.” Moon Dong-joo thought the high mound would be an advantage, while Kwak Bin said it was “not my favorite”.메이저놀이터
Earlier in the day, the team assigned to practice from 3:00 to 5:00 was the ‘cold wave’ Laos. The Laotians were coming off their first win at the Asian Games, finishing the preliminary round with a 1-1 record and advancing to the group stage. Lee Man-soo and Ryu Joong-il, the head coaches of the Lao coaching staff, took the lead, and the Lao and Korean players greeted each other.
Coach Ryu said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. First of all, I want to congratulate Laos on their first win at the Asian Games. We also talked about old times and met other seniors and juniors and had a very good time.”
Meanwhile, South Korea will start their group stage against Hong Kong on the 1st. They will face Chinese Taipei on the 2nd, qualifiers Thailand on the 3rd, and have a day off on the 4th. They will play super round matches on the 5th and 6th before advancing to the medal match on the 7th based on their ranking.