KIA kept its fall baseball hopes alive with a big offensive performance.
The KIA Tigers won the first game of their 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League doubleheader against the KT Wiz 10-2 on Thursday at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, the 14th game of the season.
Sixth-place KIA swept KT for the second straight day to move within two games of fifth-place SSG. They are now 66 wins, 2 draws, and 65 losses on the season. Meanwhile, second-place KT, which lost its third straight, is now 74 wins, three draws and 61 losses. The gap to third-place NC has narrowed to two games.
On the road, KIA fielded a starting lineup of Park Chan-ho (shortstop), Kim Do-young (third base), Kim Sun-bin (second base), Socrates Brito (center field), Lee Woo-seong (right field), Ko Jong-wook (designated hitter), Lee Chang-jin (left field), Kim Tae-gun (catcher), and Kim Kyu-sung (first base).
The home team, KT, responded with the following lineup: Choi Seong-ho (right fielder), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Anthony Alford (left fielder), Park Byung-ho (designated hitter), Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Oh Yun-seok (first baseman), and Park Kyung-soo (second baseman).
In the first inning, KIA missed a chance to score the go-ahead run. The second inning was different. With Kim Kyu-sung in scoring position after a walk and a stolen base, Park Chan-ho hit a leadoff single and Kim Do-young followed with a two-run double. Kim stepped up and took a 141-kilometer fastball from KT starter Choi Byung-sung over the left-field fence. It was Kim’s sixth home run of the season, his first in about three weeks since Sept. 12 against Samsung Electronics in Daegu.
KT struck back in the third inning. Two batters later, Choi Jong-ho drew a 12-pitch walk off KIA starter Thomas Panoni. Hwang Jae-gyun followed with a single to left, and Alford followed with an RBI single over the shortstop’s head. Park Byung-ho followed with a walk to load the bases, but Bae Jae-dae grounded out to third to end the inning.
KIA did not stand still. In the fourth inning, the tablesetters Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young put runners on first and second with a single and sacrifice bunt. Kim Sun-bin’s well-placed pitch went straight to the shortstop, but Socrates followed with an RBI double and Lee Woo-sung with an RBI single to left to widen the gap.
KIA’s bats came alive in the sixth inning. After Kim Do-young led off with a single to left and Kim Sun-bin walked, Socrates hit a single to right, scoring Lee Woo-sung, and Ko Jong-wook hit a two-run double over the center field fence.
KIA had another chance to load the bases with a walk to Lee Chang-jin. A throwing error by shortstop Shin Bong-ki on Kim Tae-gun’s next at-bat allowed Lee Woo-sung and Go Jong-wook to cross the plate to seal the deal. KIA scored five runs in the sixth inning alone.
KT got one run back in the eighth on an RBI single by Park Byung-ho with two outs. 스포츠토토
KIA starter Panoni earned his sixth win of the season (3-3) with six innings of four-hit ball, four walks, two strikeouts and one earned run. He was followed by Park Jun-pyo, Kim Dae-yu, and Jang Hyun-sik. At the plate, Socrates led the offense with a 3-for-5 performance with two RBIs and two runs scored. Park Chan-ho, Kim Do-young, and Lee Woo-sung provided support with multi-hit performances.