SUWON, South Korea: Despite a challenging Game 1 in the second round of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason, KT Wiz outfielder Bae Jung-dae remains optimistic. In a game where the Wiz were defeated by the NC Dinos 9-5, Bae's ninth-inning grand slam was a significant moment for the team.
According to Yonhap News Agency, speaking before Game 2 at KT Wiz Park, Bae said the team aims to build on the momentum generated in the final inning of Monday night's loss.
"We still have a lot of baseball left to play," Bae stated. "We have to put last night's loss behind us. We feel good about putting a few runs on the board late last night, and if we can pick things up from there, I think we should have some good results coming our way."
Earlier in the game, during his at-bat in the seventh inning, Bae had bounced into an inning-ending double play. At that point, the Dinos led 8-1. Despite the deficit, the Wiz showed resilience in the bottom of the ninth inning, loading the bases and forcing the Dinos to bring in their closer, Lee Yong-chan. Bae then capitalized with a grand slam on a first-pitch fastball, sending it into the left-field seats.
The Wiz had not played a game since October 10, ending their regular season earlier than other teams. Bae dismissed any notion of rust affecting their performance. "I think NC guys just swung the bat better than we did," he said. "I think they played better defense, too."
Defense proved to be a crucial factor for both teams. The Wiz, who had the fewest errors in the regular season, committed two errors in Game 1. The Dinos, despite having the most errors during the regular season, have shown strong defense in the postseason thus far. Bae himself failed to make a catch on a deep flyball by Kwon Hui-dong, an opportunity he admits could have shifted the momentum of the game.
"We have to be tighter on defense," Bae concluded, highlighting the importance of defensive play as the series progresses.