National Hitter's Praise for Kang Shimjang Rookie

National Hitter's Praise for Kang Shimjang Rookie

The Doosan Bears clinched the best-of-three series against the SSG Landers with back-to-back wins.

Doosan Bears, led by head coach Lee Seung-yup, won 3-1 at home against SSG in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday. The win was Doosan's third straight, improving their record to 28-2-2 on the season.

Kim Min-kyu, making his first start of the season, pitched five innings of three-hit ball with three walks and three strikeouts, followed by Kim Kang-ryul, Lee Byung-heon, Choi Ji-kang, Kim Taek-yeon, and Hong Gun-hee. Kim Kang-ryul pitched ⅓ scoreless innings of relief before Kim Taek-yeon came on in relief and pitched 1⅔ innings to earn the save. Hong earned her eighth save of the season.

Neither team had many hits in the game. Doosan managed just four hits scattered among Lee Yoo-chan, Kim Jae-hwan, Kim Ki-yeon, and Jeon Min-jae, but capitalized on opposing errors to secure the win.Lee Yoo-chan and Kang Seung-ho had RBIs, while Jung Soo-bin drove in two runs and Cho Sung-ryu drove in one.

Doosan struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Jung Soo-bin led off with a walk and stole second on an eight-pitch at-bat. Lee Yoo-chan followed with a single to left, scoring Jung and giving Doosan a 1-0 lead. Lee then advanced to second on a wild pitch, but was stranded at second base.

He was then locked down by SSG starter Kim Kwang-hyun, allowing SSG to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Choi Jun-woo led off with a walk and was promptly followed by Choi Ji-hoon's triple to right field, bringing home pinch-hitter Choi Kyung-mo. With runners on third and fourth, substitute pitcher Kim Taek-yeon struck out Choi on a wild pitch to end the inning without further damage.

Kim shut down the SSG bats until the top of the eighth inning. Doosan loaded the bases with one out against Noh Kyung-eun, who started the bottom of the seventh. Jung Soo-bin's grounder to right field was missed by Ha Jae-hoon, allowing Cho 안전놀이터 to come home. The replay was not clear, and Jeong Soo-bin advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Kang Seung-ho to make it 3-1. With the lead in hand, Doosan closed out the game in the top of the ninth with Hong Gun-hee. 

After the game, coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Kim Min-kyu pitched a really good game. He pitched five scoreless innings and set the tone for the team to win. I'm grateful to the second team coaches and staff,” and encouraged Kim Min-kyu, who successfully completed his first start of the season in the first team despite not winning.

Lee also praised Kim Taek-yeon, who picked up the save after his save the day before, saying, “It was the best performance of the day. It was great to see him throw his ball without hesitation in the first and third base crisis.” He also applauded Hong Gun-hee for her neat finish in the ninth inning.

“It was a tough game because we couldn't get any runs after the first inning, but the batters showed high concentration in the eighth inning,” said Lee Seung-yeop, adding, “Thank you to the fans for their loud support yesterday and today.”

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