“I really wanted to hit it” Hwang Jae-gyun gets revenge in a day’s time, and his walk-off hit means more than 2000 hits

  • September 7, 2023

As if time had rewound, the scene was exactly the same as the day before. The same batters and the same pitcher faced each other in the final, decisive situation, but this time with a different outcome. KT veteran infielder Hwang Jae-gyun (36) talked about how it felt to complete a come-from-behind victory against Ko Woo-seok for the second straight day.

Hwang Jae-gyun started at second base against the Suwon LG on June 6 and went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Against opposing starter Casey Kelly, he singled in the top of the first inning, and in the bottom of the eighth, he lined a single to left off Seung-hyun Baek.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded and the score 2-3, she took a slider from Woo-seok Ko for a two-run double to left field. The slightly deflected ball made a big bounce and went over third baseman Moon Bo-kyung, bringing home two runners.

It was Hwang’s ninth career game-winning hit. Tied for seventh on the KBO’s all-time hit list. He is tied for second with Kang Min-ho, who has 10 walk-off hits among active players.

With the win, KT snapped a four-game losing streak. Hwang Jae-gyun became a hero after striking out Go Woo-seok in the bottom of the ninth inning after hitting the 2000 and 2001 career hits the day before. KT remained in second place and improved to 64 wins, 51 losses, and two ties on the season. Here’s what Hwang had to say to the media after the game.

-It was a thrilling win. How did you feel?

I didn’t hit yesterday, so I really wanted to hit today. It wasn’t a clean hit, but I got the game-winning hit, so it feels really good.

-You struck out yesterday, how did you prepare for today?

Yesterday I was thinking too much about my changeup. When I analyzed my pitches, I saw a lot of changeups, so I think I was thinking too much about changeups. When the count was 2-2, I had a good curveball and it stuck in my head. I struck out on a fastball, and today, even if I struck out on a changeup, I went into the at-bat thinking that I had to hit the fastball in front of me.

-Were you that determined to finish it off?

I knew I had to finish it, no matter what. It wasn’t so much that I knew I was going to hit it, but that I had to hit it today because I didn’t hit it yesterday.

-When you hit the ball, did you think you were going to make it?

I thought I was going to get caught, so I was running really hard to get to first base, but the ball was rolling backwards.

-You reached the 2,000-hit milestone yesterday. Is there anything that stabilizes you psychologically?

It would have been better to win yesterday, but I was disappointed that we didn’t, because the team was on a losing streak and I’m a senior, and I’m not a fan of personal records. But I broke the losing streak today, so it feels better than 2000 hits.

-How is the mood in the team?

We’ve been playing so ridiculously well. We’ve come this far, but we’ve been told we’re going to have a crisis. We talked a lot about taking it easy and just going with the flow.

-Coach Lee Kang-cheol played all the cards he could yesterday and today and did the best he could.

I think that’s how the coach operated because of the situation. As a player, it’s right to follow suit, and I’m relieved that we were able to get a good result and win at the end of the day. I think the coach and the coaching staff must have felt a little more relaxed.스포츠토토

-Was there any consciousness of fighting for the lead with LG?

Not really. I think it’s more important to win all the games you have to win rather than chasing after the top and having things go wrong, and I think that will lead to good results.

What’s it like batting at -2?

I like batting at No. 2 because I used to bat at No. 5. I like getting up to bat a lot and I don’t feel any pressure.

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