For the sixth consecutive year, the Lotte Giants were denied fall baseball, but they made up for it in their home finale with a 17-hit, 12-run blowout.
The Lotte Giants won their home finale of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season against the Doosan Bears 14-3 on Nov. 11 at Sajik Stadium in Busan. For the sixth consecutive year, the team missed the postseason, but won its home finale. Lotte finished with 67 wins and 73 losses.
Doosan, which is aiming for a third-place finish, lost two straight games to fall to 71 wins, 65 losses and two ties. The eight-game series got off to a bad start.
Doosan’s starting lineup was Jung Soo-bin (center field), Rojas (left field), Yang Seok-hwan (first base), Yang Yang-ji (catcher), Kim Jae-hwan (designated hitter), Kang Seung-ho (second base), Kim In-tae (right field), Kim Jae-ho (shortstop), and Park Jun-young (third base). The starting pitcher was Choi Won-jun. Doosan had to fight hard for third place. They had to travel to Busan after losing a shocker in the ninth inning against KT in Suwon the day before.
Lotte’s starting lineup was Ahn Kwon-soo (left fielder), Noh Jin-hyuk (shortstop), Ahn Chi-hong (second baseman), Jeon Jun-woo (designated hitter), Jeong Hoon (first baseman), Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Kim Min-seok (center fielder) and Park Seung-wook (third baseman). The starting pitcher is homegrown ace Park Se-woong.
Doosan’s will to win, but Lotte’s ‘Yoo Jong-mi’ will was strong
Doosan struck first. Doosan took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after leadoff hitter Jeong Soo-bin singled, stole second, and Rojas singled to right. Yang Jeong-ji singled to right to put runners on first and second, but Kim Jae-hwan grounded out to second and Kang Seung-ho grounded out to shortstop.
Lotte then scored runs in every inning from the second to the fourth, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. In the bottom of the first, Ahn Chi-hong singled to left and Jeon Jun-woo walked to put runners on second and third with no outs, and Jung Hoon singled up the middle to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second, leadoff hitter Yoo Kang-nam took a 137-kilometer fastball from Doosan starter Choi Won-jun on a one-pitch, one-strike at-bat and launched a solo shot to left field. His 10th of the season. It was the second time in two years that he reached double-digit home runs after 2021 (11). After Kim Min-seok singled to right and Park Seung-wook followed with a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second, Lotte scored one more run on Noh Jin-hyuk’s RBI single to left to take a 3-1 lead.
In the third, Jeong Hoon singled up the middle and Yoon Dong-hee doubled to left field to put runners on second and third. Yoo Kang-nam struck out to put runners on second and third, but Kim Min-seok followed with a two-run single to right to extend the lead to 5-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, Doosan got one run back on Kim In-tae’s RBI single to left, but in the bottom of the inning, Noh Jin-hyuk and Ahn Chi-hong hit back-to-back doubles to score one run, Jung Hoon singled up the middle to score one run, and Park Seung-wook scored on a passed ball to make it 8-2.
Gold medalist Park Se-woong reaches 9 wins in finale of season 16 QS
The Hangzhou Asian Games gold medalist made his final appearance of the regular season on Sunday, pitching a six-inning no-hitter in Korea’s 2-0 victory over Japan in the Super Round, the high point of his gold medal journey.
Acting head coach Lee Jong-woon said, “Park Se-woong had to come back and pitch at least once. He came back from the Asian Games with a good performance and he’s a symbol of our team,” said Lee. “It’s our last game at home and we have to show a good performance. That’s professionalism. The timing is just right, so I think it’s right to show a good performance until the end for the fans,” he said, reinforcing Yoo’s determination for the final home game.
Park Se-woong also pitched the final game of the day with determination. He pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts, throwing 107 pitches. He finished with his 16th quality start of the season. He threw 47 four-seam fastballs, 24 sliders, 17 cutters, and 14 curves, topping out at 148 mph.
Even though his command wasn’t perfect, he was still able to showcase the qualities of a national team pitcher and end his final outing with a win in front of his home fans. He completed the nine-win requirement for the season.
Kim Min-seok, Lotte’s first high school rookie to hit 100 hits, something Lee Dae-ho couldn’t do.
High school rookie Kim Min-seok had been struggling with a 1-for-6 batting average (10 hits in 62 at-bats) since September. Despite being embroiled in controversy recently, Kim was having a meaningful season as a high school rookie this year. Prior to this game, he had 96 hits and was four shy of the 100-hit mark for high school rookies. He had one four-hit game on July 22 against Sajik Kiwoom, but it was unclear if he would be able to do it all at once.
But Kim pounded out four hits in the final home game of his debut season, becoming the eighth high school rookie in history to reach the 100-hit mark. He was the first Lotte player to do so. Not even Lee Dae-ho had done it. The record was set by LG’s Kim Jae-hyun in 1994 (134), Samsung’s Lee Seung-yeop in 1995 (104), Hyundai’s Park Jin-man in 1996 (102), Hattae’s Jung Sung-hoon in 1999 (107), Nexen’s Lee Jung-hoo in 2017 (179), and KT’s Kang Baek-ho in 2018 (153). Prior to Kim, Hanwha’s Moon Hyun-bin became the seventh high school rookie in history to reach the 100-hit milestone in the NC on April 2 against Daejeon.메이저사이트
On the day, Kim recorded his second four-hit game as a high school rookie with a single to right in the second inning, a double to right in the third inning, a single to center in the fourth inning, and an infield single to third base in the sixth inning. He became the first LOTTE player to reach the milestone.
Led by Kim Min-seok, the Lotte bats exploded for 17 hits on the day. In addition to Kim, Jung Hoon also had a five-hit game with four hits, one walk, two RBIs and four runs scored. Yoon Dong-hee had two hits and two runs scored, Yoo Kang-nam had two hits (one home run), three RBIs and two runs scored, Noh Jin-hyuk had two hits and two RBIs, and Ahn Chi-hong had two hits and one RBI.
On the other hand, Doosan, who had a long road ahead of them in the chase for third place, were dealt an early blow when starter Choi Won-jun was roughed up for five runs on five hits (one home run) and one walk in 1⅔ innings, while Park Shin-ji was tagged for five runs on eight hits and one walk in two innings. Doosan, which is in the midst of an eight-game series, travels back to Seoul on April 12 to take on the third-place contender NC.