SUWON, South Korea — The NC Dinos defeated the KT Wiz 9-5 on Monday to commence their South Korean baseball postseason series on a high note, thanks to a dominant performance by starter Erick Fedde.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Fedde struck out 12 batters and set a record for the most strikeouts in the second round of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason. The Dinos scored in each of the first four innings at KT Wiz Park in Suwon to take Game 1 of the best-of-five second-round series. Game 2 is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the same venue.
Historically, in 32 previous best-of-five second rounds, the team winning the first game has gone on to clinch the series 78% of the time.
Fedde's only mistake came in the third inning when he gave up a home run to Moon Sang-chul. Otherwise, he displayed the form that won him the regular-season Triple Crown with 20 wins, 209 strikeouts, and a 2.00 ERA.
The Dinos capitalized early, forcing Wiz starter William Cuevas out of the game in the fourth inning. The team scored nine runs on 13 hits. Three Dinos players — one of whom, Kwon Hui-dong, contributed a team-high three RBIs — recorded three hits each.
A ninth-inning grand slam by Bae Jung-dae of the KT Wiz made the final score appear closer than the game suggested.
Dinos manager Kang In-kwon noted that Fedde pitched as well as expected and lauded his team's ability to capitalize on early scoring opportunities. Conversely, Wiz manager Lee Kang-chul lamented his team's inability to recover after giving up early runs.
The game started favorably for the Dinos as they scored the opening run with a single and a double off Cuevas. Jason Martin followed with a sacrifice fly, and Oh Young-soo added a solo home run in the second inning. The Dinos extended their lead with additional runs in the third and fourth innings.
Fedde's 12 strikeouts set a new KBO postseason record for the second round. The game also marked the fourth consecutive postseason match in which the Dinos scored the first run.