This is what KT WIZ manager Lee Kang-cheol said while recapping the team’s 3-2 win over the LG Twins in the first game of the 2023 Baseball Korea Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sunday.
Lee praised Moon Sang-chul, who hit the game-winning hit, and reliever Son Dong-hyun, who pitched two shutout innings, but he didn’t leave out the name of starter Ko Young-pyo.
Rather, he praised Ko Young-pyo for saving the game.
As Lee Kang-chul said, “Young-pyo pitched a great game.
Most importantly, the team overcame a self-destructive situation.
KT had a shaky start to the game.
Their mistakes started in the first inning. Veteran second baseman Park Kyung-soo committed a fielding error that led to two runs.
In the top of the second inning, the offense made a critical play. With runners on first and second, Moon Sang-chul attempted to bunt, but it turned into a triple, ending the inning.
It wasn’t the only play. In the top of the fourth inning, trailing 1-2, Jang Jang-woo singled to left-center field, but first baseman Anthony Alford made a poor play at the plate and was caught at home to end the inning.
The tide of the game was quickly turning in LG‘s favor.
However, Ko rose to the occasion. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the score tied at 2-2, he gave up a hit and a walk to put runners on first and third, but got the next batter, Hong Chang-ki, to ground out to first base. He then struck out Park Hae-min with runners on second and third.
Park and Hae-min were the highlight of the game. After three pitches, Ko fired four straight fastballs to get a full count and then an eight-pitch changeup for a swinging strikeout.
He pitched six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts before being relieved by Son Dong-hyun, and KT held on for a 3-2 win on Moon Sang-chul’s RBI single in the top of the ninth.
“There were some messy plays by both teams in today’s game, but I didn’t think it was something I could fix,” said Ko Young-pyo in the postgame press conference, “I threw the ball with maximum concentration.”
“In the fourth inning against Park Hae-min, I was wondering if I should throw a high-course ball, so I threw a changeup as he (catcher Jang Sung-woo) signed, and the ball deflected well and induced a false swing. It was the most exciting strikeout of my life.”
“We were weak against LG throughout the regular season, and we lost a lot of games,” he said. “I think our players will be more focused for the rest of the games after winning today’s game. I’m looking forward to it,” he smiled brightly. 파워볼사이트