Heroes beat Landers to draw even in Korean Series

Riding a big inning and a surprising performance from their emergency starter, the Kiwoom Heroes defeated the SSG Landers 6-3 to draw even in the South Korean baseball championship round.
The Heroes put up a five-spot in the bottom of the third, while reliever Lee Seung-ho tossed four innings of one-run ball in a spot start at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, helping knot the Korean Series at 2-2.
The Landers loaded the bases in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but managed just two runs from those chances.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) championship series resumes with Game 5 at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, just west of Seoul. The Landers have the home field advantage as the top seed and all remaining games will be played at the Landers’ home.

The best-of-seven affair is now guaranteed to go at least six games. There will be no off days after Sunday, with Games 5, 6 and, if necessary, 7 to be played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Having run out of starting options with No. 1 man An Woo-jin still dealing with a blister in his pitching hand, the Heroes opted to go with reliever Lee Seung-ho to begin Game 4.
And the Landers scored a run off Lee in the first inning. Choo Shin-soo led off with a walk and reached second on a wild pitch, before coming home on Choi Jeong’s bloop single to right field.
The Heroes tied the score off SSG starter Shawn Morimando in the bottom second, capitalizing on some sloppy defense by the Landers.
With a runner at second, Song Sung-mun hit a grounder to first baseman Oh Tae-gon, who slipped and fell to his knees while fielding the ball. Oh’s toss to Morimando covering the bag was a beat late, and the infield single put runners at the corners.
Then Shin Jun-woo deftly put down a bunt between the mound and the first base line. Oh fielded the ball but second baseman Kim Sung-hyun was late in covering the first base bag, allowing the tying run to cross the plate.
The Heroes then erupted for five runs in the bottom third to go up 6-1, chasing Morimando from the game in the process.
Jeon Byeong-woo led off with a double and scored on Lee Jung-hoo’s single. Three batters later, Lee Ji-young knocked in a run with a single.
Song Sung-mun then smoked a double to deep center field, cashing in two more runs and then advancing to third when Kim Sung-hyun bobbled the relay throw.
Noh Kyung-eun took over from Morimando, and Shin Jun-woo greeted him with an RBI single that made it a 6-1 game.
Lee Seung-ho, making his first start since August last year, mostly settled down after the first-inning hit by Choi Jeong. The left-hander retired eight straight batters from that point and on. That streak ended with a leadoff walk to Choi in the fourth, but Lee then sat down the next three batters to escape that inning.
The Landers failed to eat into the deficit despite loading the bases with two outs in the sixth. Park Seong-han was robbed of a base hit by the Heroes infield, with second baseman Kim Tae-jin snaring a screamer hit to his right and first baseman Jeon Byeong-woo keeping his toes on the bag while diving to grab a wild throw to retire Park.
The Landers once again loaded the bases in the top seventh and didn’t come away emptyhanded this time, as Choi Jeong’s two-out, two-run single off new pitcher Kim Jae-woong made it a 6-3 game.
After the Heroes couldn’t cash in with their own bases-loaded chance in the bottom seventh, the Landers had the bases juiced again with two outs in the top eighth. This time, Choo Shin-soo flied out to the warning track in left to end the rally.
The Landers loaded the bases for one last time in the top ninth, but Choi Joo-hwan struck out against Choi Won-tae.
With his team winning despite serving up four bases-loaded chances, Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki said, “This was the most physically and emotionally draining game of the year.”
“Lee Seung-ho gave us four great innings, and that really fired up the rest of the team,” Hong said. “We made some smart plays to put pressure on Morimando early. These guys are running on fumes now but what they are doing is so awe-inspiring. I am really proud of them.”
The bottom part of the lineup did plenty of damage for the Heroes. No. 7 hitter Song Sung-mun batted 3-for-3 with two RBIs. And No. 8 hitter Shin Jun-woo, making his first start at shortstop since Oct. 19, had two hits and two RBIs.
The losing manager, Kim Won-hyong, said Morimando let the team down in that fateful third inning.
“He looked fine in the bullpen before the game. Kiwoom hitters just swung the bat well today,” Kim said. “I think our hitters started forcing the issue a bit once we went down 6-1. We have to regroup and get ready to battle again in Game 5.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top