‘Biggest lefty’ Hwang Jun-seo challenges Otani, and it’s his first hit and run of his high school career

Jangchung High School ‘ace’ Hwang Jun-seo (18) is not on the mound, but at the plate.

Hwang batted fifth and designated hitter against Gunsan Sangil High School in the Round of 32 of the 78th Cheongnyonggi National Baseball Championship at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul on 19 September. On the day, Hwang Jun-seo got his first high school hit, walked, and scored a run.

Hwang has made a name for himself as a pitcher, not a hitter. He is a “left-handed fireballer” who throws up to 150km/h and is considered the “biggest left-handed pitcher” in the upcoming KBO rookie draft. Along with Jang Hyun-seok (19-Masan Yongmago), he is highly regarded as one of the top 1 and 2 picks.

However, on this day, he played as a batter, not a pitcher. “We had a player who was sick and couldn’t play today, so we sent Hwang Jun-seo to bat,” said Jang Chung-go coach Song Min-soo. “Hwang Jun-seo was the first player we picked as a fielder, and he has a talent for hitting. I had faith in him as a batsman.”

In his first at-bat, Hwang went 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit. After never reaching base in his three years of high school (eight games, six at-bats), Hwang lived up to his coach’s expectations with three hits on the day. He also scored a run.

In the bottom of the second inning, Hwang led off with a walk and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt, an error and a passed ball. In the bottom of the third, with the score 3-0, he drew a second walk and stole second base. In the fifth inning, he reached on a fielder’s choice for his first high school hit. In the bottom of the sixth, he was stranded at second base on a groundout.

After the game, Hwang said, “I tried not to hurt my teammates as much as possible. It feels good to score, and I hope to get my first (high school) hit next time I go out.” He said, “I’ve been proud of my batting since middle school. Today’s opportunity made it more fun,” he added. Coach Song Min-soo also left the door open for him to bat again in the future.스포츠토토

In fact, Hwang Jun-seo planned to take the mound in the final innings of the game. He started to warm up in the top of the sixth inning, but was unable to make it as the game ended in a cold game (9-2 Jangchungo). It was close to seeing Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) do a two-hitter in the same game. “Even if I went out as a pitcher, I would have been in good shape,” he said.

With the support of the batting line-up, Hwang will take the mound for the round of 16 against Yoo Shin-jin the following day (20). He said, “I think I’ll be able to throw well without any (physical) pressure. My teammates and I have the mindset of doing our best regardless of the result. I’ll show them how hard I’m working,” he said.

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