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WBC national team achieves landslide victory over NC in first real match

WBC national team achieves landslide victory over NC in first real match

Posted February. 18, 2023 04:17,   

Updated February. 18, 2023 04:17


The Korean national team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) achieved a satisfying victory in their first real match. On Friday, the team, coached by Lee Gang-cheol (KT), won 8-2 with 14 hits in an evaluation match against NC held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, Arizona.

The match was played over seven innings, as per the agreement between Coach Lee and NC Coach Kang In-kwon, to accommodate the condition check of the national team pitchers. Starting with Kim Kwang-Hyun (SSG), seven pitchers each pitched one inning, with the number of pitches reaching around 25, regardless of the out count. The pitchers used the official WBC ball for their first real match, which was covered in mud, just like in a real tournament.

Ko Young-pyo (KT), a sidearm pitcher, demonstrated the best performance in the match. He faced five batters, only giving up one hit, striking out two, and recording no runs with only 16 pitches. He commented, "The WBC official ball was a little slippery, but my changeup worked better than I expected. I will continue to refine the changeup that drops in front of the batter."

During the game, Kang Baek-ho (KT) and Choi Jeong (SSG) displayed impressive hitting skills. Kang hit a two-run home run against Song Myeong-ki in the second inning, while Choi hit a solo home run against Choi Seong-young in the third.

On the same day, a large number of major league scouts gathered at the stadium to observe Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Securities), who is aiming to advance to the major leagues after this season. According to KBO, scouts from nine clubs, including the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, and Chicago Cubs, watched the game. When Lee, who started as the leadoff hitter that day, was replaced after going 0-for-2 in at-bats, the scouts left the stadium simultaneously.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com