KT WIZ’s Moon Sang-cheol (32), who could have been the cause of the team’s Korean Series (KS) defeat, became the hero who led his team to victory.
Moon hit the game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning of a 2-2 tie against the visiting LG Twins in the first round of the 2023 KBO KS at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sunday.
Moon’s worst play of the day came in the top of the second inning when he fell behind 1-2.
He bunted with runners on first and second after an error and a single to left field, but the ball landed right in front of the catcher. It was a clear mistake.
LG threw the ball to third and first for two outs, while the runner on first, Choi Byeong-dae, was caught running from second to third.
It was only the second triple by a KS player in baseball history.
In fact, Moon had a history of batting trauma: He failed a squeeze bunt with runners on first and third in the bottom of the ninth inning of the second game of the playoffs against the NC Dinos, and in the third game, he tried to bunt with runners on first and third in the fourth inning, but failed and struck out.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol blamed himself, saying, “Moon Sang-chul bunted well in training, but I think I stressed him out.”
After the PO, Moon made a bunting mistake in KS, and he couldn’t keep his head up.
Moon was mentally shaken.
In his second at-bat in the top of the fifth inning with the score tied at 2-2, he struck out swinging against Casey Kelly, and in the seventh inning, with runners on first and second, he struck out swinging again against Lee Jung-yong, the new pitcher.
But Moon wouldn’t be deterred. Manager Lee Kang-cheol didn’t use a pinch-hitter to give the team a chance to make a comeback, and Moon lived up to his faith.
In the top of the ninth inning, with the score tied at 2-2 and runners on first and second, he blasted a timely double over the left-field fence off starter Ko Woo-seok.
On a 2-2 pitch count, he took a six-pitch curveball for a long ball.
KT took the first game of the series with a 3-2 victory over LG thanks to Moon Sang-chul’s RBI single.
It was a game that started with Moon Sang-chul and ended with Moon Sang-chul.
After the game, Moon Sang-chul, who was named the Daily Player of the Day and received $1 million in prize money, recalled the situation where he pulled a curveball and hit a double, saying, “Go Woo-seok’s fastball was the best and I caught it in time.”
Moon added that his strategy of setting up a zone to hit while preparing for fastballs and not hesitating to hit them worked.
Moon said he didn’t get a bunt sign from the bench during the second inning triple play.
“We took the lead and were behind, so I bunted with the idea of quickly tying the game, but it didn’t work out,” Moon said, adding, “I felt very heavy because I think the atmosphere went over because of me.”
However, his KT teammates encouraged him, saying, “You just need to hit one,” and “You have a chance.
With his teammates’ faith in him, Moon responded with the long-awaited hit and delivered an uppercut from third base.
“I’ll do what I’m told,” Moon said, adding that he would refrain from bunting on his own.
“It feels good to win,” he said, adding, “My team only wants to win, and my brothers encourage me when I make mistakes. It’s good that I’m doing well, but winning is the first thing,” emphasizing team first. 먹튀검증