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Korean Slugger’s Blast Stuns Lotte

Posted March. 02, 2006 03:12,   


Lee Seung-yup’s can-do attitude has made him a Japanese baseball league star.

That attitude was on display at a friendly match between the Korean national baseball team and Japan Series champion Lotte at the Tokyo Dome yesterday.

In the bottom of the first inning, with Lotte leading, 0-1, Lee walked to the batter box as Lotte fans booed him loudly from the stands—an expression of animosity toward Lee, who recently deserted Lotte for Yomiuri.

With the count 2-0, Lee swung at the third pitch high in the strike zone. With crisp crack of the bat, the ball soared over the right field wall and landed in the crowd that had been booing him. A brief silence fell over the stadium, as if someone had just poured a cold bucket of water onto the fans.

Lee’s 110m homerun tied the game. Lee also had a clean base hit against Lotte’s closer Kobayashi Masahide in the sixth inning with runners on first and second. He ended the day 2-4 with 2 RBI.

Korea’s 7-2 victory over Lotte yesterday was propelled by Lee Seung-yup and Kim Dong-ju’s solo homeruns, and 13 other base hits.

Lotte was not in top form yesterday with eight of its players loaned out to the Japanese national team. But it was a valuable victory for Korea nevertheless before the start of the World Baseball Classic. Taiwan, Korea’s first round WBC opponent, lost to Lotte the day before, 3-6. The Japanese national team defeated Lotte, 5-1, on February 26.

Park Chan-ho, Kim Byung-hyun, Seo Jae-ung, and seven other pitchers took the mound yesterday in a final test of Team Korea’s pitching staff. Starter Park Chan-ho gave up one run in the first inning, and Jung Jae-hun allowed a solo homerun in the ninth. The other eight pitchers allowed no additional runs. Kim Byung-hyun took the mound in the sixth and finished the inning with only six pitches.