South Korea’s baseball team, bidding for a fourth consecutive Asian Games title, struggled against Hong Kong’s pitchers, who used a “super slow ball” of around 90 kilometres per hour, but a late batting surge gave them the victory.
Ryu Joong-il’s men earned a 10-0 cold-weather victory over Hong Kong in the eighth inning in their first Group B game of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Centre No. 1 near Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province on Monday.
Korea will play their second game of the day at 7.30pm on 2 February against their biggest rivals, Chinese Taipei.
Chinese Taipei won a 12-1, seven-inning cold game against Thailand on the same day.
Starting pitcher Won Tae-yin (Samsung Lions) had an easy first inning. After retiring the first two batters on swinging strikes, he gave up a fastball up the middle to Hong Kong’s No. 3 hitter, Wen Tsui-yin, for a double to left-centre field.
However, Won Tae-in utilised his main weapon, his change-up, to get the next batter to swing and miss.
South Korea struck first in the bottom of the first inning.
Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom Heroes) led off with a grounder to first base against Leung Chung-hei, but Choi Ji-hoon (SSG Landers) reached on an infield single on a fielding error.
A wild pitch and a walk to Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles) then put runners on first and second.
The next batter, Kang Baek-ho (KT WIZ), struck out swinging, but Moon Bo-kyung (LG Twins) followed with a single to right field to put runners on first and second for a 1-0 lead.
With runners on first and third, Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte Giants) was stranded on a fly ball to right field.
Korea ended the top of the second with a triple play, but couldn’t capitalise in the bottom half of the inning.
Leadoff hitter Park Sung-ho (SSG) drew a walk, but subsequent batters were unable to adjust to the ultra-low velocity of left-hander Lee Hoch (SSG).
Kim Hyung-jun (NC Dinos), Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung Lions), and Kim Hye-sung all struck out against Ri Ho Chi’s 80-90 mph pitches.
South Korea had a big scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third, but again failed to capitalise on the opposition’s hitting.
With no outs and runners on first and second, Kang Baek-ho’s well-placed shot was caught by the opposition’s right fielder, and the second baseman, Choi Ji-hoon, was thrown out.
In the process, however, the umpires confused Choi Ji-hoon with Noh Si-hwan, the runner on first base, and made a bizarre call that required Choi to return to first base, delaying the game by 20 minutes.
Amid the chaos, South Korea was unable to score another run.
South Korea took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kim Hye-sung hit a two-run double to the right side of the infield after back-to-back singles by Yoon Dong-hee and Park Sung-sung and a walk to Kim Sung-yoon loaded the bases.
However, Noh Si-hwan singled to load the bases and Kang Baek-ho struck out swinging to end the inning.
The fifth inning was also frustrating. They fell victim to underhanded pitcher Mok Chun-pui again.
Moon Bo-kyung, the leadoff hitter, was retired after being hit by a pitch to the body, and Yoon Dong-hee and Park Sung-sung were both hit by Mok Chun-pui’s slower pitches, 온라인카지노 which clocked in at over 100 kilometres per hour.
The Koreans again failed to add to their lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Kim Hye-sung and Choi Ji-hoon struck out with runners on first and second and Noh Si-hwan struck out swinging.
The Korean bats came alive late.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kim Hye-sung doubled to left-centre and Choi Ji-hoon singled to put runners on first and third with Noh Si-hwan singling up the middle to make it 4-0, and Kang Baek-ho and Moon Bo-kyung drew back-to-back walks to push the score to 5-0.
Yoon Dong-hee followed with a two-run double down the left field line to make it 7-0, and two more runs scored on a throwing error and a sacrifice fly by Park Sung-seong to make it 9-0.
Kim Hyung-jun followed with a walk and Kim Sung-yoon with a single to centre field to make it 10-0.
Won Tae-in pitched four innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and walking none.
At the plate, Kim Hye-sung went 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs.
Right-handed pitcher Jang Hyun-seok (Yongmago, Masan), the only high school student on the team, entered the game in the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead and pitched one inning of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts, but was shaky, throwing one hit-by-pitch and a wild pitch. 슬롯