NC Dinos shortstop Kim Joo-won (21) did his part on both offense and defense, especially in the clutch to help his team win the game.
Kim Joo-won started at shortstop in the ninth inning of the second game of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank Shootout KBO Playoffs’ (PO-5 best-of-three series) against the NC Dinos at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea, on April 31.
It was a ‘super catch’ that saved the team from the brink of an upset.
Leading 3-0 after Shin Min-hyuk’s 6⅓ innings of one-hit shutout ball, NC gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Lee Yong-chan was shaky and faced a bases-loaded situation.
After back-to-back singles by Park Byung-ho and Jang Jang-woo, Yoo struck out Moon Sang-chul and pinch-hitter Kim Jun-tae, but allowed pinch-runner Jung Joon-young to steal second and third. The NC bench then decided to call for a high four-pitch at bat.
With the bases loaded, Lee Yong-chan and Oh Yoon-seok battled it out. NC was in danger of losing the game with just one hit.
Oh Yoon-seok took aim at a four-pitch forkball from Lee Yong-chan. It looked like it would be a hit as it flew to the left of the shortstop.
However, Kim Joo-won leaped to catch the ball and ended the game. KT requested a video replay, but it showed that the ball had not touched the ground and had entered Kim’s glove.
“The moment the ball hit the bat at the end, I thought, ‘I’ll live unconditionally if it’s bound,’ so I didn’t think about anything else,” said Kim, who made the decisive diving catch. “My seniors didn’t say anything else, but they said, ‘You did a really good job.'”
Commander Kim Joo-won and starting pitcher Shin Min-hyuk also applauded.
“I thought it was a hit the moment it was hit,” said NC coach Kang In-hwa. The defense positioning was good, and Kim Joo-won’s diving was good,” and he gave a thumbs-up to the youngest Kim Joo-won, who led the team to victory even though his older brothers created difficulties.
“I thought, ‘This is our Joo-won,'” said Shin Min-hyuk.
Kim also stood out at the plate. In the top of the third inning, he took a 145-kilometer per hour fastball from KT starter Wes Benjamin and blasted a three-run homer to right-center field. He then took advantage of an error on Son’s grounder to first base to give NC a 3-0 lead.
Kim commented on his at-bat, saying, “I felt the same way, but the results didn’t come. I felt bad that I couldn’t help the team, but I was a little relieved to hit a triple.”
With two straight wins in enemy territory, NC has now won six straight games this fall. If you 토토사이트 include the 2020 Korean Series (KS-7, Game 4), it’s a nine-game winning streak. This ties the PS record for the longest winning streak.
NC will move the venue to Anbang next month on April 2 to play KT in the third round of the PO. It’s a golden opportunity to qualify for the KS early.
“I think we won in a tight situation at the end, which raised the team’s mood,” said Kim Joo-won. “I think we’ll be more nervous and excited when we get to the Korean Series.”