“1900 games? I feel like I’ve been playing baseball for a long time.”
Hwang Jae-gyun (KT Wiz), who scored the winning run in the final inning, shared his thoughts on playing 1900 games.
KT won 4-3 on Thursday against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul.
With the win, KT snapped Pajuk’s seven-game winning streak and moved into third place (48 wins, 2 draws, 43 losses), dropping Doosan to fourth.
The fight for third place was tied at 2-2. It was Hwang Jae-gyun’s ‘one hit’ that turned the tide. In the top of the seventh inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Hwang Jae-gyun hit a two-run home run off Doosan’s Jung Chul-won. His second home run of the season.
The home run allowed KT to hold on to the lead despite Doosan scoring one run in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the one-run victory.
After the game, Hwang Jae-gyun said, “The first thing is that we continued our winning streak. I didn’t think I was going to hit a home run, but I tried to hit it just right, and I think it came at a good time,” said Hwang.
“I thought it went over when I hit it, but it went over a little bit more than I thought, so I panicked,” he laughed.
This was his second home run of the season, and his first in about a month and a half since June 23. Hwang said, “It’s inevitable that I don’t hit many home runs. At first, I had my doubts, but since I was getting a lot of hits and the team was winning, I realized that I should be less greedy in that area and hit the game-winning hit when it really matters.”
KT was able to win the game because its young bullpen, including Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun, did a good job on the mound without giving up the lead.
Hwang Jae-gyun said, “There are more games we won because of (Son) Dong-hyun or (Park) Young-hyun. I kept telling them, ‘It’s okay to get hit, so take it easy,'” Hwang said.
Before the game, Lee praised the seniors for their focused and ‘one-shot’ play. “There is a difference between what the seniors can do and what the younger players can do. The seniors are working well together, and the younger players are following suit, so the team atmosphere seems to be flowing well.”
After falling to the bottom of the standings at the beginning of the season, KT is now in third place. Hwang Jae-gyun said, “We have a good pitching 토토사이트 staff, so I thought we would go up. We were able to continue our winning streak and didn’t have a long losing streak because our starting pitchers held up well. I’m always grateful to the pitchers,” he said.
“I don’t know why we always seem to get going in the middle innings. It seems like it happens every year, but over time, the players don’t get tired and they know how to win. Even the younger players are figuring out how to play the game,” he laughed.
“We tell them that even if we lose once, we can win tomorrow, so let’s take it easy. We try to create an atmosphere of having fun and playing baseball, and I think it leads to good results.”
Hwang Jae-gyun reached the milestone of 1900 career plate appearances in today’s game. Last year, he hit 1900 hits, and he said, “I’m grateful to have played so many games. I feel like I’ve been playing baseball for a long time,” but he also said, “That’s how old I am. I don’t have a record that I’m too hungry for. If you play as many games as I have, you should hit (2000 hits),” he quipped.
He also thanked the fans for coming to the stadium during the heat wave. Hwang Jae-gyun said, “I think you’re really great. I think you really like baseball. I will always be grateful and try to repay you with a victory by playing hard.”