The NC Dinos clinched third place with a dramatic late-game victory. Rookie Park Han-geup (19-NC Dinos), who was selected with the 14th overall pick in the second round of the 2023 Draft, was the star of the show.
NC won 6-5 at home against the Doosan Bears on April 24 at Changwon NC Park. Third-ranked NC improved to 68-3-55 on the season, snapping the four-game winning streak of fourth-ranked Doosan (67-1-59). NC and Doosan are now separated by 2.5 games.
NC’s starting lineup was Son Asub (designated hitter), Seo Ho-cheol (third base), Park Min-woo (second base), Jason Martin (center field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Kim Sung-wook (right field), Yoon Hyung-joon (first base), Ahn Jung-yeol (catcher), and Kim Han-byul (shortstop). The starting pitcher is Shin Min-hyuk.
For Doosan, the starting lineup was Jung Soo-bin (center fielder), Kim Jae-ho (shortstop), Jose Rojas (right fielder), Yang Ji (designated hitter), Kim Jae-hwan (left fielder), Yang Seok-hwan (first baseman), Kang Seung-ho (second baseman), Jang Seung-hyun (catcher), and Park Jun-young (third baseman).
Before the game, coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “(Kim) Jae-hwan has a good record against Shin Min-hyuk.” Kim is 4-for-5 with eight RBIs (11 doubles in 24 at-bats) and three home runs in his career against Shin.
In the starting battle, Doosan went with a “1+1 Won-Jun” lineup. Jang Won-jun was followed by Choi Won-jun. Jang Won-jun pitched 3⅓ innings of two-run ball, followed by Choi Won-jun, who pitched two scoreless innings, and then Kim Myung-shin (1⅔ innings), Kim Kang-ryul (1⅓ innings), Hong Gun-hee (1⅔ innings), and Park Chi-kook (1 inning, 3 runs).
For NC, Shin Min-hyuk gave up two runs in 4⅔ innings, followed by Han Jae-seung (1 run in 1⅓ innings), Lim Jung-ho (1 run in 1 inning), Ryu Ji-wook (1 run in 1 inning), Lee Yong-chan (2 runs in 2 innings), Kim Si-hoon (2 runs in ⅓ inning), and Lee Jun-ho (2 runs in ⅔ inning).
NC took the lead in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Seo Ho-cheol took a 138-kilometer fastball from Jang Won-joon that was a little high and sent it over the left field fence. It was Seo’s third home run of the season.
After taking the lead, NC took a 2-0 lead when Park Min-woo drew a walk in a 13-pitch battle with Jang Won-joon and scored on an RBI single by Kwon Hee-dong.
After exchanging hits in the third inning but failing to score, Doosan rallied in the top of the fourth. Rojas led off with a double, Yang Ji-won drew a walk, and Kim Jae-hwan followed with 스포츠토토 a single to load the bases. Yang struck out on a nine-pitch count, but Kang Seung-ho forced him to throw another nine pitches before hitting a two-run double to tie the game at 2-2.
Doosan set the tone perfectly in the top of the sixth inning. Kim Jae-hwan led off the inning with a walk and took a slider from reliever Han Jae-seung over the right field wall. It was Kim’s 10th home run of the season. This is the eighth consecutive season that Kim has hit double-digit home runs. The 29th all-time. At the same time, Doosan reached 25,000 runs as a team. The second record in KBO history.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, NC changed the mood and scored in the ‘headshot rule’. One out later, Son As-seop singled to center field. Seo Ho-cheol batted and was hit in the head by a 145-kilometer fastball from pitcher Kim Kang-ryul. Kim Kang-ryul was ejected, and Seo Ho-cheol was replaced by Cho Hyun-jin.