It was the shot he’d been waiting for. SSG Landers’ Choi Jeong-jeong hit his first home run of the semifinals as a come-from-behind grand slam.
Starting at third base and batting third in the third game of the semifinals against the NC Dinos in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League postseason at Changwon NC Park on May 25, Choi hit a 141 km/h fastball from NC starter Tanner Tully for a grand slam with the bases loaded in the top of the second inning with his team trailing 1-3, giving the team the lead.
Choi, who had been dealing with a hamstring injury at the end of the regular season, had dramatically made the semi-playoff roster, but hadn’t been performing up to expectations, going 1-for-7 with one RBI and a .143 batting average in the previous two semi-playoff games. However, SSG made their presence felt in the clutch Game 3.
SSG’s starting lineup was Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter), Eredia (center fielder), Choi Jeong (third baseman), Han Yu-seom (right fielder), Ha Jae-hoon (left fielder), Park Sung-sung (shortstop), Kim Sung-hyun (second baseman), Oh Tae-gon (first baseman), and Kim Min-sik (catcher). Oh Won-seok was the starting pitcher, while Kim Kwang-hyun, who started the second game, and Moon Seung-won, who came in after Kim Kwang-hyun, were categorized as non-players.
Before the game, manager Kim Won-hyung said, “It was the same in the first game and the same in the second game, and I think the pitchers behind us will throw the ball a little more confidently if we score. We didn’t take the lead and kept falling behind,” and unfortunately, the same scene continued in the third game.토토사이트
In the top of the first inning, SSG put runners on second and third with singles by Choo Shin-soo and Han Yoo-seom, but Ha Jae-hoon grounded out to shortstop on Tanner’s slider, and the team was unable to capitalize on the scoring opportunity. Oh Won-seok took the mound in the bottom of the inning and gave up RBI singles to Kwon Hee-dong and Seo Ho-chul with runners on second and third.
With the mood much lifted from the start, SSG took advantage of Tanner’s shaky start to chase down the lead. In the top of the second, Park Sung-hyun grounded out to shortstop, but Kim Sung-hyun singled to center, Oh Tae-gon singled to left, and Kim Min-sik struck out, but Choo Shin-soo drew a walk to load the bases.
Guillermo Heredia then drew a walk to load the bases and SSG made it 1-3. With the bases loaded, Choi smashed a Tanner pitch over the left field fence to make the score 5-3.
With his first home run of the semifinals and 13th of his postseason career, Choi added four RBIs to give him 42 RBIs in the postseason, surpassing Hong Seong-heon (Doosan, 39) for the all-time postseason RBI record. He is also just one away from tying current Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) for the most postseason home runs (14).
2023 KBO Semifinal Playoff Roster
Manager: Kang In-hwa
Coaches: Jeon Jeon-do, Jin Jong-gil, Jeon Min-soo, Song Ji-won, Yoon Byung-ho, Yoon Soo-gang, Park Seok-jin, Lee Jong-wook, Kim Soo-kyung
-Pitchers (13): Tanner Tully, Myung-ki Song, Eric Peddie, Young-gyu Kim, Sung-young Choi, Si-hoon Kim, Yong-chan Lee, Jung-ho Lim, Jun-young Ha, Jin-wook Ryu, Jae-hak Lee, Min-hyuk Shin, Jun-ho Lee
-Catchers (3): Park Se-hyuk, Park Dae-on, Kim Hyung-joon
-Infielders (7): Park Min-woo, Seo Ho-cheol, Kim Joo-won, Do Tae-hoon, Choi Jung-won, Oh Young-soo, Kim Han-byul
-Outfielders (7): Park Young-bin, Jae-hwan Jae, Kim Sung-wook, Son Ah-seop, Kwon Hee-dong, Park Gun-woo, Jason Martin
Manager: Kim Won-hyung
Coaches: Son Ji-hwan, Jung Kyung-bae, Cho Won-woo, Kim Min-jae, Chae Byung-yong, Park Jung-kwon, Cho Dong-hwa, Jung Jin-sik, Lee Seung-ho
-Pitchers (12): Go Hyo-joon, Lee Kun-wook, Seo Jin-yong, Roenis Elias, Kim Kwang-hyun, Kirk McCarty, Noh Kyung-eun, Moon Seung-won, Oh Won-seok, Choi Min-joon, Lee Roon, Song Young-jin
Catchers (3): Lee Jae-won, Kim Min-sik, Cho Hyung-woo
-Infielders (6): Park Sung, Kim Chan-hyung, Kim Sung-hyun, Ahn Sang-hyun, Choi Jung, Choi Ju-hwan
-Outfielders (9): Kim Kang-min, Choi Sang-min, Ha Jae-hoon, Choo Shin-soo, Guillermo Heredia, Kang Jin-seong, Han Yu-seom, Oh Tae-gon, Choi Ji-hoon