‘Upset dinosaur army’ goes to overturn Suwon

NC Dinos, ranked 4th in the KBO (Korean Professional Baseball) League 2023 regular season, advanced to the playoffs (PO, 3 wins out of 5) with consecutive wins over 3rd place SSG Landers in the semi-playoffs (semi-PO).

NC won 7-6 after an all-out effort with 6 pitchers in the 3rd semi-PO game against SSG held at NC Park in Changwon on the 25th. NC, which succeeded in an ‘upset’ (rebellion of the lower seed) by winning 3 consecutive games from the first game, ran for 4 consecutive wins in baseball this fall, including the wild card game against the Doosan Bears. NC is the second team to win all 3 of the 15 semi-POs, including this year, with 3 wins out of 5, following the 2008 Samsung Lions.

On this day, SSG took the opportunity first, but the poor scoring performance shown in the previous two games did not improve. In the top of the first inning, leadoff hitter Choo Shin-soo’s hit to right and after two outs, Hanyu Seom’s hit put the runners on first and third base, but Ha Jae-hoon retired with a fly to shortstop. On the other hand, NC succeeded in taking the lead by scoring the first run after many twists and turns in the bottom of the first inning. In NC, No. 1 Son Ah-seop and No. 2 Park Min-woo had a chance to reach 1st and 2nd base with no outs with consecutive hits, but Park Geon-woo’s double play ended up with 2 outs and runners on first base. However, Martin continued the opportunity with a hit to right. With Martin’s stolen base on second and third bases with two outs, Kwon Hee-dong hit a timely hit with two RBIs to right. NC then took a 3-0 lead with Seoho Railroad’s 1-RBI double.스포츠토토

SSG, last year’s combined champion, did not simply step down. In the beginning of the second inning, Heredia did not miss the opportunity when NC starting tenor’s control was shaken and chased down one point by pushing. And the follow-up batter, Choi Jeong, hit a grand slam to immediately turn the game around to 3-5. However, NC’s momentum in the postseason was scary. Park Geon-woo, who had bowed out due to a double play in the first inning, succeeded in chasing the score at 4-5 with a timely hit and RBI, and Martin succeeded in turning the score around at 7-5 with a three-run home run.

And from the third inning onwards, a pitching battle ensued, mobilizing both teams’ bullpens. Lee Jae-hak, who took over the mound from NC Tenor, was recorded as the winning pitcher after going 2 2/3 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 run, but suffered the misfortune of being replaced after being hit by a ball in his hand in the top of the 5th inning. NC’s bullpen consisting of Kim Young-gyu, Ryu Jin-wook, Lim Jeong-ho, and Lee Yong-chan preserved the victory by one point. SSG also started with Oh Won-seok and Noh Kyung-eun, and then the bullpen consisting of McCarty, Ko Hyo-jun, Choi Min-jun, and Seo Jin-yong blocked NC’s batting line by allowing no runs. However, he bowed his head as he was unable to score.

Kim Young-gyu, who pitched in all three semi-PO games and performed brilliantly with one win and two holds, received 37 out of 78 votes from the reporters and was named the Series Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Starting on the 30th, NC will play the first PO match against KT Wiz, second place in the regular season, at Suwon KT Wiz Park.

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