Choi Won-tae bangs 3-run homer, rookie Kim Hyun-jong goes crazy again

LG Twins rookie outfielder Kim Hyun-jong (20) has hit another long ball. He’s making waves in the LG outfield, which is comprised of international players.

LG played a six-inning game against the Blue and White at Scottsdale Indian School Park in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Sept. 29 (KST). It was the third exhibition game in spring training.

The White Team (starters) started with Park Hae-min (designated hitter), Hong Chang-ki (center fielder), Kim Hyun-soo (left fielder), Austin Dean (first baseman), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Park Dong-won (catcher), Kim Min-soo (third baseman), Moon Sung-joo (right fielder), and Shin Min-jae (second baseman). The Blue Team (backup) started with Choi Seung-min (left fielder), Koo Bon-hyeok (shortstop), Moon Bo-kyung (designated hitter), Kim Sung-jin (third baseman), Kim Hyun-jong (center fielder), Heo Do-hwan (first baseman), Son Yong-joon (second baseman), Kim Sung-woo (catcher), and Jeon Jun-ho (right fielder).

Kim Hyun-jong, who started in the No. 5 spot in center field for the visitors, went 2-for-3 with a triple. He hit a triple in the first Blue-Black game on May 25. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in a scrimmage against NC on Sept. 26. He had a long hit in three consecutive games before today’s game against the Blue and White.

Kim Hyun-jong led off the second inning with a long hit off Choi Won-tae. He drove Choi’s first-pitch fastball over the right-field fence for a three-run triple. Heo Do-hwan scored on the second baseman’s grounder to center field for the go-ahead run.

In his second at-bat of the fourth inning, Heo singled up the middle against Lee Ji-gang. He then attempted to steal second base, but was tagged out by catcher Park Dong-won’s accurate throw.

In his third at-bat of the fifth inning, he struck out against Kim Jin-soo. But he fought back, drawing six foul balls on a 1-2 pitch, and struck out looking.

There was one disappointing moment in the middle infield defense. Moon made a sliding catch on a line drive that fell backwards and became a ground ball. He tried to make the catch with a bold defense but failed.

Kim Hyun-jong was selected by LG in the second round (18th overall) of the 2024 KBO Draft. He was rated as one of the top high school outfielders in the country at Incheon High School. He is the de facto No. 1 rookie for LG, which traded Choi Won-tae in late July of last year for two players (Lee Joo-hyung and Kim Dong-gyu) and a first-round pick.

Manager Cha Myung-seok sees Kim as the future successor to national center fielder Park Hae-min.

LG manager Yoon Kyung-yup praised Kim’s growth in spring training. “I think (Kim) Hyun-jong-i is emerging as a strong rival for (Song) Chan-eui, so Chan-eui should be nervous. Hyun Jong-i has shown tremendous growth from the beginning of camp until now. I’m looking forward to seeing how his growth will develop through the exhibition matches.”

The game was a 7-3 come-from-behind victory for the backup team, which utilized its starting lineup. After falling behind 0-1 in the bottom of the third inning, Shin Min-jae drew a walk against pitcher Kim Young-joon and stole second. He advanced to third when catcher Kim Sung-woo’s throw to second was thrown backward. With two outs, Park Hae-min hit a single to left to tie the game 바카라사이트 at 1-1. Hong Chang-ki drew a walk to put runners on first and second, and Kim Hyun-soo followed with an RBI single to left to make it 2-1.

With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, the Blue Team regained the lead at 3-2 when Moon Bo-kyung hit a back-to-back home run off pitcher Kim Jin-soo with a solo shot to right and Kim Sung-jin hit a home run to center.

The Baeks tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth when leadoff hitter Moon Sung-joo hit a ground ball that went behind center field off Choi Dong-hwan. In the top of the fifth, Jeon Jun-ho, who replaced Park Dong-won at catcher, came to the plate as the No. 10 hitter and hit a solo home run to center field off Choi Dong-hwan.

Park Hae-min followed with a single to center and Hong Chang-ki singled to left to load the bases. Kim Hyun-soo flied out to left field, but Austin followed with a double to center. Catcher Kim Sung-woo threw to third to catch the runner at first, but the ball sailed into the outfield, allowing both Hong and Austin to score.

Choi Won-tae, the Blue Team starter, threw a fastball that topped out at 148 kilometers and allowed one run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Lee Ji-gang followed with two innings of two-hit, one-strikeout ball, while Kim Jin-soo allowed two runs on two hits (two home runs) in one inning. Lee Woo-chan finished with one inning of scoreless relief.

Back team starter Lim Chan-kyu pitched well against the main lineup, striking out four in two innings of perfect pitching. He was followed by Kim Young-joon, who allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings, and Choi Dong-hwan, who gave up five runs (three earned) on five hits and two home runs in one inning. Baek Seung-hyun ended the game with a strikeout in the first inning, touching 150 kilometers.


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