‘0:3→4:3 9th inning comeback’ KT doesn’t give up, defeats Ko Woo-seok to end 4-game losing streak
KT Wiz overcame a three-run deficit to snap a four-game losing streak with a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
KT improved to 64-1-51 (0.557) with a 4-3 home win over the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Saturday. LG, which failed to clinch the best-of-seven series, is now 68-2-44 (0.607).
KT lined up in the following order: Kim Min-hyuk (right fielder), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Anthony Alford (left fielder), Park Byung-ho (designated hitter), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Oh Yoon-seok (first baseman), Lee Ho-yeon (second baseman), Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder), and Jang Jun-won (shortstop). Wes Benjamin, who has a lot of good memories against LG, got the start.
LG’s lineup was Hong Chang-ki (right fielder), Shin Min-jae (second baseman), Kim Hyun-soo (left fielder), Austin Dean (designated hitter), Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Park Dong-won (catcher), Kim Min-sung (first baseman), and Park Hae-min (center fielder). The starting pitcher was Casey Kelly.
Until the middle of the game, it was a tense pitching battle between the two teams. Benjamin, who was strong against LG, and Kelly, who has had some ups and downs this season, continued to cruise with stable pitches.
It was LG who took the initiative. In the top of the sixth inning, back-to-back singles by Shin Min-jae and Kim Hyun-soo put runners on first and third, and LG took the lead when Austin’s sacrifice fly scored Shin Min-jae from third. In the top of the eighth, Shin Min-jae led off with a walk and advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by the opposing catcher, and Kim Hyun-soo hit a single over the first baseman’s head to bring home Shin Min-jae from third.안전놀이터
Leading by two runs, LG had a chance to score in the top of the ninth inning when Kim Min-sung was hit by a pitch and Park Hae-min singled to put runners on first and second with one out. However, they were unable to capitalize as Park Hae-min was tagged out at first base. The score remained 3-0.
After Kelly, Kim Jin-sung and Baek Seung-hyun pitched ⅔ and ⅓ innings, respectively, to close out the eighth before LG turned to closer Ko Woo-seok for the ninth. Although he had thrown 22 pitches the day before, the bench felt that Go Woo-seok could handle the back-to-back pitches without too much trouble.
KT didn’t back down. In the bottom of the ninth, Moon Sang-chul, pinch-hitting for leadoff hitter Song Min-seob, lit the fuse with a double to left-center field, and Jang Jang-woo followed with an RBI single to make it 1-3. This is when things started to get weird.
After Ahn Chi-young struck out with the bases loaded, Park Kyung-soo walked on a full count, and Choi Jae-dae hit an RBI single to close the gap to one run. In addition, Kim Sang-soo drew a walk to load the bases with one out.
With the bases loaded, Kim Min-hyuk’s grounder to the first baseman forced out Park Kyung-soo at home, but the ‘veteran’ Hwang Jae-gyun made the save. With the count 2-2, Ko Woo-seok pulled a five-pitch slider, and the hard-hit grounder sailed past third baseman Moon Bo-kyung’s glove and into the outfield, bringing home the third baseman and second baseman Kim Sang-soo side-by-side. It was a moment of stark contrast between the two teams.
Benjamin earned a quality start with seven innings of five-hit ball, one walk and four strikeouts, while Son Dong-hyun and Kim Young-hyun pitched one inning of one-run ball (unearned) and ⅔ inning of one-run ball, respectively. Jo Jo-hyun, who pitched ⅓ of an inning with four strikeouts, earned the save. It was his first win since joining KT, and 697 days since October 9, 2021 against the Incheon Lotte Giants if you include his time with the SSG Landers.
At the plate, Hwang Jae-gyun, who came up with the game-winning hit, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while Choi Jae-dae, who faced his hometown team, also did his part with a 3-for-2 performance with one RBI, one walk and one run scored.
LG, on the other hand, was frustrated by Go Woo-seok’s struggles despite Kelly’s seven innings of two-hit, two-run ball with eight strikeouts. For the second night in a row, LG showed its will to win by pulling out the Go Woo-seok card, but it came up short.