“He did well enough to be troubled.”
It was a practice game to coordinate the sense of the game, but their performance was outstanding. Park Gun-woo (NC Dinos) – Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins) – Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom Heroes) revolted as backups and made director Lee Kang-cheol smile.
The Korean national baseball team, led by head coach Lee Kang-cheol, held a practice match against the SSG Landers Futures team (2nd team) at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 3rd. The score of 10-2 was meaningless because it was a practice game to strengthen the sense of the actual game, but it was a good opportunity to gauge the current physical condition of the players.
In this match, the three players flew wildly. Designated hitter Park Gun-woo had 3 hits and 4 RBIs including a home run, shortstop Oh Ji-hwan also had 3 hits and 3 RBIs, and second baseman Kim Hye-seong also stood out with 2 hits and 1 run. Oh Ji-hwan continued to play an active role in defense and boasted a good condition.
Park Kun-woo showed off a feeling of hitting that day, hitting only 3 long hits. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Park Geon-woo hit a timely double that hit the top of the right fence, and in the bottom of the 7th inning, he hit a solo home run that went over the farthest center fence at Gocheok Dome and continued to play an active role. Even in the bottom of the ninth inning, he made a big success by hitting the center fence with two RBIs and a double at the right time. 안전놀이터
Oh Ji-hwan shone in defense. In the top of the 4th inning, Ji-Young Lee kicked off a grounder and threw it cleanly to 1st base, overcoming the risk of losing 2 out 2nd and 3rd bases. (Shortstop – 2nd baseman – 1st baseman) He continued his double play and drew admiration from his teammates.
Kim Hye-seong also continued the pleasant blow. Kim Hye-seong, who had 9 hits in 14 at-bats in 4 practice games held at the Arizona camp in the U.S., continued to hit 2 hits in 3 at-bats in the domestic practice game as well. Practice game batting average 0.647 (11 hits in 17 at-bats). In particular, on this day, he filtered out even one walk and completed the game on three bases.
The three players are actually classified as backups in this tournament. Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) and Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres), who have been proven in the major leagues, are making reservations for the keystone combination, and left-handed hitters such as Lee Jung-hoo, Kim Hyeon-soo, and Na Seong-beom are holding tight in the outfield.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol also said after the practice game, “The overall batting order is the same as today. In the first and second batting order, they (Edmon-Kim Ha-seong) enter.” If the batting order is based on the practice game, the outfield is made up of Kim Hyeon-soo, Lee Jeong-hu, and Na Seong-beom. Infielder Kim Hye-seong and Oh Ji-hwan and outfielder Park Gun-woo are expected to have limited appearances.
However, their condition is so good that coach Lee Kang-cheol is worried. “It is in good condition to go to the starting lineup. (Should I use it as a starter in the tournament), I was worried.” Regardless of whether they are starting players or not, their performance is only reassuring for the national team ahead of the tournament.
International competitions are a series of variables. Injuries may occur, and short-term pressure may lead to sluggishness of key players. However, with a solid backup, the risk can be minimized. Park Kun-woo, Oh Ji-hwan, and Kim Hye-sung’s good condition is making coach Lee Kang-cheol smile.
Meanwhile, the national team will depart for Japan on the 4th to prepare for the tournament in earnest.