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Jangchung Rules Golden Lion Baseball

Posted July. 08, 2006 03:00,   


Jangchung High School has finally embraced the championship flag of the Golden Lion tournament. Their joy was more delirious in that they have waited for the title for a long while. It takes less than 10 minutes by car from Jangchung High School to the Mecca of high school baseball, Dongdaemun Baseball Stadium. However, it took a tedious term of 43 years until they could capture another golden flag.

Established in 1933, Jangchung High School created its baseball team in 1963, but their performance had been terrible. They used to disqualify themselves in the Seoul preliminaries, and even when they proceeded to the national tournament, they rarely survived the first few games. This might explain why the high school’s students and graduates were moved to tears as they were chanting their school’s anthem in the award ceremony.

On June 7, the final match of the 60th Golden Lion Pennant National High School Baseball Tournament, which boasts a time-honored tradition, was held at the Dongdaemun Baseball Stadium under the joint sponsorship of Dong-A Ilbo and the Korea Baseball Association.

After a fierce mound duel against Yushin High, Jangchung High won by a score of two to one and finally stepped on the winner’s podium. Alongside the Presidential Cup, they clinched their second crown this year. Snatching two wins, Jangchung’s sidearm pitcher Jeon Jin-ho was chosen as the MVP of the tournament and Lee Yong-chan who took the mound in the 6th inning with no outs and a runner on the second base, became the winning pitcher, marking three earned-hits, two bases-on-balls, and four strikeouts. Jangchung’s hurling-trio (Jeon Jin-ho, Lee Yong-chan and Lee Seung-u) has shown off a stunning performance, allowing only two runs in five games. Jangchung’s victory in the championship is considered more valuable given that it overcame food-poisoning from which many of the players suffered during the tournament, and injuries that disabled some of their key players.

Although Yushin High, endowed with a coach brilliant in tactics, Lee Seong-yeol, and well-organized defense, aimed at their first championship, failed for another time after 1988 just in front of the threshold of their goal. Jangchung took the first run in the second inning, but gave up the equalizer in the 6th. However, in the bottom of the 9th inning, with one out and runners on first and second base, fifth batter Kim Won-tae made a timely hit to conclude the breathtakingly close battle.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga · com uni@donga.com