The Lotte Giants of the professional baseball league saved the spark for autumn baseball. Lotte beat the Doosan Bears 4-3 after a fierce neck-and-neck race in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 4th. With the victory, seventh-ranked Lotte chased sixth-ranked Doosan by 3.5 games.
The two teams, whose games scheduled to be held on the 1st and 2nd were canceled due to rain, played Monday for the first time this season in accordance with the policy of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), which organized the rest of the games on Monday, a professional baseball break. The two teams, who desperately needed victory to enter the fifth place, the Maginot Line of baseball in the fall, competed without concessions.
Doosan scored first. Jung Soo-bin, the leadoff hitter in the top of the first inning, hit a fastball from Lotte starter Park Se-woong and hit a solo home run over the right fence. The lower court was a foul, but it was recognized as a home run after a video review.
Lotte immediately launched a counterattack. At the bottom of the first inning, Junghoon Lee, An Chi-hong, and Jeon Joon-woo beat Doosan starter Raul Alcantara to get a full base opportunity. Nico Goodrum’s two-run timely hit to the right and Noh Jin-hyuk made a “big inning” with a two-run timely hit to the middle, turning the game around 4-1.
Doosan, whose momentum had been dampened, made the game hot again by chasing it in the top of the fourth inning. After making first and third bases with Kim In-tae’s walk and Huh Kyung-min’s left-handed hit, Lotte third baseman Gudrum made up for one point when Lee Yoo-chan’s infield grounder came out.
Lotte tried to put out the urgent fire by putting Park Se-woong down and Choi Joon-yong on the mound, but Doosan caught up by one point with Kim In-tae hitting a timely hit to the right.
However, Lotte kept one point to the end by putting in a must-win group that led to Koo Seung-min, Kim Sang-soo, and Kim Won-joong. Kim Won-joong was on the verge of first and second base with no outs, but he finished the game by neatly handling the follow-up batters.
It was Jeon Joon-woo, the 37-year-old oldest batter, who woke up Lotte, who had been shaking by giving up the first run. Jeon Joon-woo, who played as the fourth batter, played three hits and one walk in three at-bats.
He hit a left-handed hit in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning to create a full base opportunity, and got a walk in the bottom of the second inning. Jeon Joon-woo, who also hit a right-handed hit in the bottom of the fifth inning, led Lotte’s attack by getting on base in all at-bats, including hitting a double with a long hit in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jeon Joon-woo’s performance also shone in defense. At the top of the second inning, he chased Huh Kyung-min’s ball to the end and jumped to catch it, and Lotte was able to take the lead throughout the game as it overcame the crisis of losing a point with this defense. 안전놀이터
Despite Lotte’s poor performance and bad news due to the replacement of the manager, Jeon Joon-woo has not given up on autumn baseball by playing without ups and downs. In particular, despite the fact that it is difficult to maintain a sense of hitting due to the increase in the number of canceled games due to rain, his batting average has reached 0.387 (12 hits in 31 at-bats) in the last 10 games.
Amid Jeon Joon-woo’s performance, junior hitters such as Noh Jin-hyuk, An Chi-hong, and Yoon Dong-hee are also cheering up, reviving the team atmosphere.
In particular, Noh Jin-hyuk played as Lotte’s “solver” with two hits and two RBIs in four at-bats, and Yoon Dong-hee also played as the first batter and played well with two hits. Attention is focusing on whether Jeon Joon-woo’s performance, who woke up his juniors, will lead Lotte to fall baseball.