The core players of the Giants returned home with gold medals.
Lotte Giants pitchers Na Gyun-an and Park Se-woong and outfielder Yoon Dong-hee returned to the team with bright faces.
Led by head coach Ryu Jung-il, the Korean baseball team won its fourth consecutive gold medal at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
A group stage loss to Chinese Taipei dampened the spirits, but the players, led by captain Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), rallied to overcome the difficulties.
After defeating Japan and China in the Super Round, the team capped off the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the final on July 7.
The role of the “Lotte Three” was crucial to the team’s performance.
Park Se-woong, who started the first game of the Super Round, pitched six innings of two-hit, two-run ball with nine strikeouts to turn the tide and lead the team to the final.
Na Gyun-an started the third game of the group stage against Thailand and threw four innings of four-hit ball, striking out nine. Both pitchers only had one game under their belts, but their performances made a huge difference for the team.
Yoon Dong-hee, who earned a spot on the Korean national team as a last-minute substitute, was in fine form at the plate.
He led the batting lineup alongside Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) and Choi Ji-hoon (SSG), going 7-for-12 with a .583 slugging percentage, one home run, and five RBIs in three group games.
He also went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks in the first game of the Super Round against Japan, and continued his hot streak the next day with a one-hit, two-run double against China.
The three players were welcomed home by fans on Aug. 8 and immediately joined the first team, greeting the players before the 15th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Aug. 9.
Before team training, the players gathered together to applaud the three players for returning home with gold medals.
Despite being tired from rejoining the team so soon after returning home, the three players’ faces were bright as they stood in front of the press.
Park Se-woong said, “I received a lot of congratulations for my good performance,” while Na Kyun-an smiled, “Everything feels like a dream because everyone congratulated me after I came back with a good result.”
Yoon Dong-hee, who made the team in dramatic fashion, said, “I felt a little awkward wearing a Lotte jersey after a long time, but I think I felt that way because we bonded so well at the Asian Games, and now that I’m wearing a Lotte jersey again, I want to do my best for the rest of the games.”
Park, who entered the tournament as a wildcard, had to lead the younger players as the ‘eldest’ member of the team.
“Personally, this is my last Asian Games and I’m the eldest member of the team, so I had a lot to think about. 카지노사이트가이드
The younger players followed me very well, and (Kim) Hye-sung did a good job as the captain in the middle.
I tried to tell them a lot of good things, and even before we went out on the field to defend in the top of the ninth inning in the final against Chinese Taipei, we all got together and talked.
I think that’s how we were able to come together as a team.” Park expressed his gratitude to his juniors.
“In the case of the 2017 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), I didn’t have the experience of playing in a tournament with players my age, but when I went to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 or the World Baseball Classic (WBC) this year, I always went with my older brothers, so when I think about it, I think (Kim) Hyun-soo must have had some responsibility or pressure as a captain,” Park said. “As a pitcher, (Yang) Hyun-jong was my older brother in the WBC, (Kim) Kwang-hyun, and (Lee) Yong-chan were the eldest brothers in the pitching group, and I thought they led the younger players well,” he said.
“I can’t really describe how it felt, but I think it was more of a responsibility. “To be honest, before we won the gold medal, there were some people who said that the team was weak because it was made up of young athletes from Korea, but we were able to achieve results thanks to the players’ unity,” he said. “
Even before the final, we wanted to show the players that we were not worried about them, and when we entered Korea, we had the mindset of going in with our heads held high, so we did well.” He reflected on the tournament.
Yoon Dong-hee, who participated in the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup last year, said, “It was definitely different from last year.
I learned and felt a lot while playing baseball with my older brothers who are good at it, so I think I can improve more next year than this year by working hard based on what I experienced this time,” she said.
In particular, the three players attracted the attention of fans after the gold medal was confirmed, as they brought their respective trainers and the Korean National Team’s bullpen catcher Kwon Nuri.
Park Se-woong, who gave the gold medal to Kwon Nuri, said, “When I was with the team, they checked my physical condition and worked behind the scenes for us,” adding, “I went to four international tournaments with (Kwon) Nuri, but we never did well, but this time we did well.
There are many people in Korea who support him, but when he goes to competitions in Japan or China, he travels alone and does all the hard work.
I wanted to take care of him, so I thought about what I could do, and I think that’s what I did.”
“The first time I met Nuri, he took care of me very well, and when I talked to him, we got along very well (because I was a catcher).
I want to say thank you for that,” he said, adding, “In terms of training, he tried to make sure that the players were in the best condition possible.”
What does this tournament mean to him? Park said, “I had never won a championship in baseball, and the only gold medal in my house was my brother’s, so it was impressive to bring home the biggest one.
Once I won a championship, I realized why players love it so much, so I wanted to win it with my team.”
“This is the first time I’ve won a gold medal or championship in baseball, and I felt a lot during the tournament.
“It’s the first time I’ve won a gold medal or championship in baseball, and I felt it a lot during the tournament.
I understood the feeling of the players running out of the dugout while winning, and I want to feel that feeling again.
I hope to prepare well next year so that the team can feel all those feelings,” he said.
Yoon Dong-hee, who won a gold medal in middle school, said, “I think this medal is more valuable and heavier.
It’s important and nice to win the tournament now, but I hope that not only the three of us, but also our teammates feel that we need to win Lotte unconditionally.
We will continue to work hard to win the championship.”
Although Lotte is now one point out of the postseason, the team plans to do its best in the remainder of the season.
Park Se-woong, who was selected to start the home final against Doosan on Nov. 11, said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve pitched in a home final.
In fact, the players and fans had a lot of expectations at the beginning of the year, but it’s a big disappointment,” Park said, adding, “I want to show a good performance since I’m playing in the home final.”