Is there still hope for the Kia Tigers to make it to fall baseball? Or is it ‘hope torture’?
5th place Doosan Bears 71 wins, 2 ties, 65 losses, 0.522 winning percentage (6 games remaining)
6th place KIA Tigers 70 wins, 2 ties, 68 losses, 0.507 winning percentage (4 games remaining)
Game difference is two games.
The Kia Tigers kept their fall baseball hopes alive with a big win behind Yang Hyun-jong’s eight-inning no-hitter.
캡틴토토The Tigers hosted the Kiwoom Heroes at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Nov. 11 and cruised to an 11-0 victory in their 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home opener.
Sixth-ranked KIA maintained its challenge for a wild card with four games left in the season. Ahead of a two-game series against the NC Dinos in Gwangju on April 16-17, KIA will need to sweep the Lotte Giants on April 12 and the Doosan Bears on April 13 to have a shot at a miracle.
Kia starter Yang Hyun-jong held the Kiwoom bats to six hits and zero runs to earn his eighth win in 11 starts.
Yang was on pace for his first complete game of the year, but ran out of pitches in the top of the eighth inning and gave way to Kim Seung-hyun in the ninth.
Yang gave up three straight hits after the first inning, but he got Kim Hye-sung and Ronnie Dawson to fly out to end the eighth without allowing a run.
KIA players congratulate Kim Sun-bin on his 1,500th career hit. [Courtesy of the KIA Tigers].
Yang Hyun-jong increased his season total to 164 innings pitched, leaving him six innings shy of reaching the coveted 170-inning mark for the ninth straight year.
KIA jumped out to an early lead with six runs in the top of the second inning, thanks in large part to an error by Kiwoom.
After scoring two runs on a bad throw by Kiwoom shortstop Kim Hwee-jip, who caught Kim Kyu-sung’s grounder with the bases loaded, KIA extended the lead to 4-0 on a grounder by Kim Do-young and a single by Ko Jong-wook.
After Kim Sun-bin’s ordinary grounder was missed by Kiwoom left fielder Park Chan-hyuk to keep the chances alive, Socrates Brito singled to load the bases and then scored the sixth run on a grounder by Lee Woo-sung and an error by Kiwoom third baseman Song Sung-moon, who missed a grounder by Kim Tae-gun.
In the fifth inning, which made it 7-0, Kim Do-young singled up the middle and Socrates doubled to score four runs.
KIA’s Kim Sun-bin hit an infield single in the third to become the 44th player in history to reach 1,500 career hits.
Yoon Ji-soo, who won a gold medal in fencing at the Hangzhou Asian Games, throws out the ceremonial first pitch during Lotte’s final home game of the 2023 season. Yoon Ji-soo is the daughter of Lotte’s legendary pitcher Yoon Hak-gil. (Busan=Yonhap)
Lotte, eliminated from postseason contention, thrashes Doosan 14-3 in final home game
In Busan, Lotte, eliminated from postseason contention, pounded out 17 hits and smashed a hard-charging Doosan 14-3 in its final home game.
Lotte broke open a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the second inning with Yoo Kang-nam’s solo arch to left and Noh Jin-hyuk’s RBI single to left chased Doosan starter Choi Won-jun.
They then scored five runs off Doosan reliever Park Shin-ji in the third and fourth innings, combining eight hits, including three doubles, and two wild pitches.
Doosan effectively raised the white flag in the bottom of the sixth inning when it scored three runs to cut the deficit to 3-8. Fifth-place Doosan now trails KIA by two games.
Meanwhile, the heroes of the Hangzhou Asian Games took the mound for Busan and Gwangju to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Fencing gold medalist Yoon Ji-soo, the daughter of Lotte legend Yoon Hak-gil, “The Lone Crown Prince,” opened the Doosan-Lotte game, while in Gwangju, high school amateur Yoo Hyun-jo, a silver medalist in the women’s golf team event, got her wish to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for KIA.