‘Ozzie Hwan-Hwang Sung-bin 2nd base collision → both teams’ managers protest → decisive run interference’ Lotte, Ko Woo-seok overcomes ‘Elotracico’ 2-1 thrilling upset

It was “El LocaCicco” (a reference to the rivalry derby between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona) between the fierce LG Twins and Lotte Giants. Lotte, who had lost 13 of their last 16 games, staged a dramatic comeback against the ‘big fish’ LG Twins. Hwang Sung-bin’s collision with Oh Ji-hwan on an outfield play in the eighth inning, followed by an interference call, and Park Seung-wook’s game-winning hit in the ninth inning pulled the team out of the hole온라인카지노.

The Lotte Giants pulled off a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on 23 March. With the win, Lotte snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 33-31 with a +2 run differential. After a lacklustre run of three wins and 13 losses in their last 16 games, Lotte rebounded by ending their losing streak at ‘3’. LG, on the other hand, ended their two-game winning streak, leaving them with 41 wins, two draws and 26 losses. This season, Lotte now leads the head-to-head series against LG with four wins and three losses.

Prior to the game, LG head coach Yeom Kyung-yeop commented on the decision to remove pitcher Lee Min-ho from the first team roster, saying, “I think Lee Min-ho will have to do what he did in spring training anyway, and it’s important for him to rebuild his body. His fastball is more than 10 kilometres off. Firstly, he’s not in shape,” he said, adding, “We need to talk to the training part again and build his body the way we did in camp. I need at least a month. In the end, the most important thing is to get fit. The best scenario is for him to come back in the second half of the season.”

Lotte manager Larry Sutton also commented on the decision to remove first base coach Kim Pyeong-ho from the first team roster before the game, saying, “Overall, the team’s base running and stealing ability has improved compared to last year. However, the team’s cycle dropped in June. We had more walks. We had a lot of issues with stolen bases. We decided we needed a change of scenery, so we switched the first and second base coaches.”

LG’s starting pitcher is Casey Kelly. Lotte’s starting pitcher is Park Se-woong. A masterclass pitching battle took place at Jamsil Stadium. Kelly had been struggling at the start of the season, leading to speculation that he would be replaced, but this day was different. He was a perfect ace. Park Se-woong, who had performed well for Korea in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), also pitched a great game.

Kelly got things off to a good start in the first inning, striking out the leadoff batter, Ko Seung-min, on a fly ball to centre field, then Yoon Dong-hee on a five-pitch 149km fastball and Rex on a five-pitch 131km curveball. In the second, she got leadoff hitter Jeon Jun-woo to fly out to right field and then gave up a deep infield single to Ahn Chi-hong. However, he got Han Dong-hee to ground out to third and Park Seung-wook to ground out to first to end the inning.

In the third, he struck out leadoff batter Yoo Kang-nam on a swinging strike (six pitches, 147 km/h fastball). He gave up a double down the right-field line to Kim Min-seok, but got Ko Seung-min to fly out to centre and Yoon Dong-hee to ground out to second. In the fourth, he gave up a single to Ahn Chi-hong two batters later, but induced Han Dong-hee to ground out to shortstop to end the inning. The fifth inning was a triple play (Park struck out, Kang Kang-nam grounded out to shortstop, Kim Min-seok grounded out to second).

Kelly retired the first two batters of the sixth inning, Ko Seung-min on a fly ball to shortstop and Yoon Dong-hee on a fly ball to right field, before giving up a single to Rex on a fastball to right-centre. However, he struck out Jeon Jun-woo on three pitches to keep the scoreless streak alive. The game was a pitcher’s duel and moved very quickly. It was 7:52 p.m. at the start of the seventh inning. Six innings had taken just 1 hour and 22 minutes.

In the top of the seventh, things got a little more dramatic. The leadoff batter, Ahn Chi-hong, induced a grounder to second base, but gave up a single to right-centre to Han Dong-hee. Lotte then loaded the bases with Jang Doo-sung in place of Han Dong-hee, but Kelly induced Park Seung-wook to pop out to the pitcher. By the seventh inning, Kelly had thrown 91 pitches.

In response, Lotte’s Park Se-woong pitched a more complete game until the sixth inning. After starting the first inning with a triple play (Hong Chang-ki to centre, Park Hae-min to left, Kim Hyun-soo to ground out), Park continued his momentum with a triple play in the second (Austin Upple to Ji-hwan Oh and Park Dong-won to foul out to left). In the top of the third, Moon gave up a single to Sung-joo Woo, but Yoo Kang-nam made a perfect throw to second base and Shin Min-jae got a catcher’s interference strikeout to end the inning.

In the fourth inning, Hong Chang-ki, Park Hae-min, and Kim Hyun-soo all induced infield grounders. The fifth inning required just five pitches. Austin flied out to second base on the first pitch, Oh Ji-hwan flied out to centre field on the second pitch, and Park Dong-won grounded out to shortstop on the second pitch. In the sixth, Moon led off with an eight-pitch fly ball to left field. Rex made a diving catch. Moon then hit a grounder to shortstop (first pitch) that Park Seung-wook made a sliding catch and threw to first for the out. Shin Min-jae followed with a fastball, but was caught on a fly out to right field.
◆ ‘The day before the storm’ The game started to turn sharply in the bottom of the seventh inning, ‘Austin’s sprint to first base in the bottom of the seventh inning vs. Hwang Sung-bin’s throw to first base in the top of the eighth inning’ The score was 1-1.
It was the calm before the storm. The game was quiet until the bottom of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Park Se-woong, who was still on the mound, was hit by a single to left-centre by lead-off hitter Hong Chang-ki. It was Park’s second hit of the day. LG loaded the bases with one out, but Park Hae-min tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but after two fouls, he struck out swinging. The next batter was Kim Hyun-soo. Here, Kim Hyun-soo lined a five-pitch fastball (147km) up the middle on a 2-2 count. He rounded second base to score Hong Chang-ki from third.

The next batter was Austin. After the first pitch, he was hit by a two-pitch slider (139km) that went straight to the second baseman. But Austin didn’t give up. As soon as the at-bat was over, he threw his bat and sprinted to first base. At first, Ahn Chi-hong’s throw to second base was a force out. Shortstop Lee Hak-joo then made a strong throw to first base, but by a narrow margin, Austin took first base. Lotte requested a video review, but the call was not overturned. The LG fans on first base cheered and the Lotte fans on third base sighed. The next batter, Oh Ji-hwan, struck out swinging. Inning over.

However, Lotte did not go down without a fight. In the eighth inning, with Kelly on the mound, leadoff hitter Yoo Kang-nam singled to left. Lotte then brought in pinch-hitter Hwang Sung-bin. The next batter was Kim Min-seok. After a foul on the first pitch, he laid down a good sacrifice bunt towards first base on the second pitch. The runner was out. However, a situation arose at second base. Hwang Sung-bin was rounding second base when he collided with LG shortstop Oh Ji-hwan and fell to the ground. A trainer from Lotte came out and checked on Hwang for a moment.

Manager Larry Sutton protested the collision, and the umpires called for an overthrow, allowing Hwang to advance to third base. The umpires believed that the third base had been cleared when the bunt was fielded, and that Hwang could have reached third base had he not collided with Oh Ji-hwan. In response, the umpires took the microphone on the field and said, “Oh Ji-hwan and Hwang Sung-bin collided at second base, and since there was no one at third base, we declared an obstruction of the base and allowed Hwang Sung-bin to advance to third base.” LG coach Yeom Kyung-yup immediately rushed out of the dugout to protest, but the call was not overturned. Eventually, Ko Seung-min hit a sacrifice fly to deep centre field to tie the game at 1-1. Yoon Dong-hee followed with a single to right, but Rex induced a grounder to second base to prevent any further runs from scoring.

The game-winner: Lotte’s focus against LG closer Ko Woo-seok in the top of the ninth inning
Park Se-woong took the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning. He got Park Dong-won to ground out to shortstop and Moon Bo-kyung and Moon Sung-joo to ground out to first base to end the inning. In the top of the ninth, LG brought in “closer” Ko Woo-seok instead of Kelly, but he looked shaky. After leadoff hitter Jeon Jun-woo drew a five-pitch walk, Ahn Chi-hong lined a single down the left field line to put runners on first and third with no outs. Lee Hak-joo struck out swinging on five pitches. But Park Seung-wook drove a 152km fastball from Ko Woo-seok four pitches later, and the ball landed just inside the left-field line. The third baseman, Jeon Jun-woo, crossed the plate with ease. The Lotte fans on the third base side went into a frenzy, but Gowseok was no longer shaken. He struck out Hwang Sung-bin on a seven-pitch catcher’s strikeout and Kim Min-seok on a five-pitch swinging strikeout.

Lotte then brought in “closer” Kim Won-joong in the bottom of the ninth. He got leadoff hitter Shin Min-jae to fly out to left field. However, Hong Chang-ki singled up the middle to keep the spark alive, but that was it. Park Hae-min singled in front of the second baseman to end the game.
For Lotte, starter Park Se-woong pitched eight innings, allowing one run (one earned) on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts to improve to 4-2 on the season. Kim Won-joong followed with one inning of scoreless relief. In the nine-hit batting line-up, Ahn Chi-hong led the way with three hits.

LG starter Kelly also pitched well, allowing one run (unearned) on seven hits and four walks with seven strikeouts in eight innings. Ko Woo-seok followed with one inning of two-hit ball, one walk, three strikeouts and one run (one earned) to take the loss (2-3, 4-1). The offence was limited to four scattered hits.

After the game, manager Sutton said, “It was a must-win game, and I’m glad we got the result and gave ourselves a chance to bounce back. Se-woong Park pitched a fantastic, all-star performance. Our defence was a big part of that. The batters didn’t give up and tried to create chances, but when it mattered most, Park Seung-wook came through with a hit to win the game. I am happy that our players showed their willingness to repay the fans’ tremendous support with a win.”

Park Seung-wook, who hit the game-winning hit, said, “Defensively, Seung-woo threw so well today that I was more focused and made good plays. In the offence, I had a strong feeling that when I had a chance, I had to take it. Even though it was two strikes, I was confident and I think that led to a good result. I’m really happy that I was able to contribute to the team’s victory,” he said, enjoying the win. Lotte will now take on LG at Jamsil Stadium on the 24th at 5pm, with Barnes and Plutko starting the game.

Lotte Giants vs LG Twins Starting Lineup (23 June, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, 21,809 fans in attendance)

  • Lotte Giants: Ko Seung-min (first baseman), Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder), Rex (left fielder), Jeon Jun-woo (designated hitter), Ahn Chi-hong (second baseman), Han Dong-hee (third baseman), Park Seung-wook (shortstop), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Kim Min-seok (middle infielder). Starting pitcher Park Se-woong.
  • LG Twins: Hong Chang-ki (right fielder)-Park Hae-min (infielder)-Kim Hyun-soo (first baseman)-Austin (designated hitter)-Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop)-Park Dong-won (catcher)-Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman)-Moon Sung-joo (left fielder)-Shin Min-jae (second baseman). Starting pitcher Casey Kelly.

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