Even in last place, the desire for victory remains unchanged. Lee Ju-hyung (22), who led the Kiwoom Heroes to victory, talks about his responsibility as a center fielder.
Kiwoom defeated SSG Landers 4-2 in their regular season home game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro-gu, Seoul on April 28.
Ariel Furado (Kiwoom) and Oh Won-seok (SSG) pitched well for both teams, but it was the bottom of the fifth inning that broke the tense 1-1 balance. In the second inning, Ronnie Dawson led off with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a stolen base, creating a golden opportunity. Lee Ju-hyung lifted a three-pitch low slider from Oh Won-seok for a single to left-center field, which proved to be the game-winning hit. He also showed off his different charms at the plate. In the first inning, he hit a grounder to short, but was quick to make the catch, and in the third inning, he showed off his long bat with a big shot to the right field fence. In the seventh, he lined a single to left field with two outs to set the stage for his big inning.
After the game, Lee spoke about the unexpected responsibility. Following the early-season departure of Lee Jung-hoo (25) and Kim Hye-sung (24) for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Kiwoom’s batting lineup became even looser, and Lee’s burden as a center fielder on the ice increased. “I think I have to take on more responsibility than the burden of having Kim Hye-sung and (Kim) Dong-heon out,” Lee said, adding, “Even when I was batting in the fifth inning, I knew that (Kim) Hye-sung didn’t have many scoring chances because of his brother’s absence, so I focused as much as I could to save them. It’s great that it led to a good result.” Lee beamed.
Despite their four-game winning streak, Kiwoom is currently in last place with 55 points, three draws and 78 losses, 1.5 games behind the ninth-place Samsung Lions. “We only have eight games left, but we talked about winning as many games as possible to win the title,” Lee said. “Personally, I’ve been doing image training because I’m afraid my body won’t react fast enough. Today, I felt like I was slow to react in my first at-bat, so I prepared a little faster and was able to produce results in my next at-bat. I hope I can help the team win a lot of games until the end of the season like I did today.” “I’m so thankful that they keep coming to the ballpark even though we’re in 10th place, and I want to give back to them even more.”
Another key contributor to the win was Ariel Hurtado, who improved to 10-0 with the victory. Hurado pitched six innings of four-hit ball, striking out five and walking one, earning her 19th quality start of the season (six or more innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed) and improving to 10-8 on the year. 스포츠토토 The good vibes were evident as the team prepared a samsam-o-oh water bag to celebrate the pitcher’s 10th win.
Furado said, “I feel like I have to give the team a win every game, so I knew if I won today, it would be 10 wins. Ten wins is a natural goal for a pitcher, but I’m happy to have gotten off to a quality start, which is something I’ve been focusing on since the beginning of the season, and I’m happy to be able to stay healthy and play a lot of innings until the end of the season.”
On the day, Hurtado threw 91 pitches (25 changeups, 24 two-seam fastballs, 23 fastballs, 12 sliders, four cutters, and three curves) and was efficient with seven and eight pitches in the third and fourth innings, respectively. He finished the month of September with a 1.90 ERA as he has been consistent in keeping his ERA under two every month since May.