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In Confrontation Between Ace Pitchers, Song Jin-woo Smiles

In Confrontation Between Ace Pitchers, Song Jin-woo Smiles

Posted April. 04, 2004 22:47,   


“Welcome, Baseball!”

The curtain on the 2004 Pro Baseball season was raised with 83,253 spectators, the largest opening day crowd in history on April 4. All games in four stadiums were broadcast live and Chamsil Stadium (35,000) and Daegu Stadium (12,000) were sold out.

In the main opener, Hanhwa, lead by “President” Song Jin-woo, beat Hyundai, which was seeking its sixth consecutive win in openers and had last year’s wins leader, Jeong Min-tae, as its starting pitcher.

Song allowed only two hits and one walk until seventh inning, and struck out 5 times with no runs allowed, earning the victory against Jeong Min-tae. Jeong pitched well, giving up five hits and one walk until the seventh inning, but gave up two homers and three runs, becoming the losing pitcher.

Hanhwa’s candidate for homerun king of the next generation, Lee Beom-ho, slammed a solo homer to break the balance of a tight pitchers battle in the third inning, becoming the first homer hitter of the season. Lee Young-woo hit a one-run homer to confirm victory in the fifth inning with Hanhwa leading 2-0.

In Moonhak Stadium, SK’s Lee Sang-hoon destroyed his former team, LG as an untouchable closer. Taking the mound with no one on base and one out in the eighth inning with SK leading 3-1, Lee only allowed one walk in two innings and struck out one with no hits and no runs, earning his first save.

SK got the crucial winning run on a two run hit by Jeong Kyoung-bae with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning with the score tied with 1-1. Park Kyoung-wan slammed a two-run homer in the eighth inning, sealing the victory. LG only scored one run on a homer in the sixth inning by Kim Jae-hyun, who has recovered from a hip joint disease.

In Daegu, Samsung won a dramatic comeback victory 5-4 against Lotte thanks to the finishing hit by Kim Jeong-hoon. Samsung’s special foreign player, Oriori hit a solo homer, tying the game in the seventh inning, and Kim Jeong-hoon became the hero of victory by hitting along the left line with runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth inning with the game tight at 4-4.

In Chamsil, favored Kia defeated Doosan 9-7 on strong batting, led by a two-run homer in the fourth inning by Son Ji-hwan, who was drafted from LG.

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com