I finally got rid of the nightmare of the international competition. ‘National University genius batsman’ Kang Baek-ho and ‘national team finisher’ Go Woo-seok won gold medals on the national baseball team at the Hangzhou Asian Games. It was a moment to wash away the regrets of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2023 WBC.
The Korean national team won 2-0 in the final against Chinese Taipei held at Shaoxing Stadium in Hangzhou, China on October 7.
In the top of the second inning, Korea had the opportunity to take the lead and score first with leadoff hitter Moon Bo-kyung’s double and wild pitch with no outs on third base. Kang Baek-ho retired with a ground ball to third base, but Korea scored first with Kim Joo-won’s sacrifice fly ball to left field.
Then, with Kim Hyeong-jun’s single to left and Kim Seong-yoon’s double, he scored an additional point with one out and a wild pitch from the opposing pitcher on second and third bases. In the beginning of the second inning, opposing starter Lin Yu-min’s control of the ball was shaken by heavy rain, which was a stroke of luck.
In the top of the sixth inning, Korea had an opportunity to score an additional run with one out and two bases on leadoff hitter Noh Si-hwan’s walk and Moon Bo-kyung’s sacrifice bunt. Kang Baek-ho’s next hit to left gave them a chance to reach 1st and 3rd bases with one out, but Korea missed the opportunity as Kim Joo-won and Kim Hyeong-jun struck out consecutive missed swings.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, with one out, Moon Dong-ju hit a double to right field that hit Zeng Zhongze directly against the fence. However, Moon Dong-ju roared with consecutive missed swings and strikeouts, and finished his appearance with 3 hits, 7 strikeouts, and no runs in 6 innings.
The Korean bench activated the bullpen starting in the 7th inning. Choi Ji-min closed the bottom of the 7th inning and Park Young-hyun allowed no runs in the bottom of the 8th, taking one step closer to the gold medal.레고토토
The final crisis came in the bottom of the 9th inning when closing pitcher Go Woo-seok came up. Go Woo-seok allowed consecutive hits after catching the lead batter with a fly ball to first base. In a crisis where a single home run could have resulted in a shocking walk-off loss, Go Woo-seok ended the game by inducing the follow-up batter into a dramatic double play toward second base.
When the game ended, Kang Baek-ho and Go Woo-seok held a passionate ceremony with their national team teammates. It was a gold medal that had great meaning, especially for the two athletes. Kang Baek-ho and Ko Woo-seok suffered greatly from the team’s poor performance at the last Tokyo Olympics and the WBC Tournament. Kang Baek-ho had a sad time suffering from panic disorder due to public opinion regarding the base-running controversy that emerged during the WBC tournament. Ko Woo-seok also had to aim to restore his reputation as he was unable to participate in the WBC tournament due to symptoms of back gallbladder symptoms.
The two players, who were extremely diligent, were burdened with greater responsibility4 at this Asian Games. Kang Baek-ho also performed poorly at the beginning of the tournament, but his batting skills gradually improved and he helped the national team advance to the finals with a home run against China. Go Woo-seok also suffered a painful, timely hit against Taiwan in the group stage, but succeeded in avenging himself by inducing a dramatic double play in the final.
The two players, who have shaken off the nightmare of international competition, are now expected to return to their KBO League teams and prepare for the postseason. LG Twins coach Yeom Kyung-yeop, who has already confirmed the regular season championship, said, “Go Woo-seok and Jung Woo-young plan to immediately join the team and continue throwing the ball even after they return from the Asian Games national team.” Go Woo-seok, who must play the role of closing pitcher in the Korean Series, is now able to prepare for the postseason in good spirits thanks to his gold medal in the Asian Games.
Kang Baek-ho also returns to KT WIZ, which ranked second in the league and is likely to advance to the playoffs, to prepare for the postseason. If Kang Baek-ho’s hitting ability, which was revived in the Asian Games, continues into the postseason, KT will also gain a tremendous weapon. If KT advances to the Korean Series after advancing to the playoffs, a picture could be created where Kang Baek-ho and Go Woo-seok, who have been together in the national team for a long time, face off. I am curious to see how the fall baseball performance of the national team players, who returned with a gold medal, will unfold.