Wednesday, 24th July 2024

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Best pitching performance in KBO debut, manager Park pleased

“Connor showed what a No. 1 starter should look like”

The Samsung Lions won the final game of their midweek three-game series. Foreign pitcher Connor Seabold was the key to the victory.

Samsung, led by head coach Park Jin-man, won the 11th game of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League against SSG Landers 4-0 on Tuesday at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, to finish the three-game midweek series with a 2-1 record. Samsung improved to 40-132 (.556) on the season, and the gap between fourth-place Samsung and fifth-place SSG widened to three games.

On this day, Samsung became the first team in KBO history to reach 50,000 hits. After surpassing 10,000 hits in 1992 (Koo Yoon, April 19 against Daegu OB) and 20,000 hits in 2000 (Kim Ki-tae, September 1 against Incheon SK), Samsung reached 50,000 hits in 2009 (Shin Myung-chul, June 2 against Daegu Heroes) and 40,000 hits in 2017 (Lee Ji-young, April 11 against Daegu Hanwha).

Connor, who started against Song Young-jin, pitched seven innings of five-hit, one-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks to earn his sixth win of the season. It was the first time Connor has pitched seven or more innings without allowing an earned run since his KBO debut.

The bats also contributed. Kim Young-woong had a multi-hit performance, including a leadoff single, while Yoon Jung-bin, who started in right field and batted sixth, had three hits, including a home run. Kang Min-ho and Park Byung-ho also did their part with three hits apiece.

Samsung took the early lead and cruised through the game. In the top of the first inning, Kim Ji-chan singled and Kang Min-ho walked to put runners on second and third before Kim Young-woong hit a single to center field. The next batter, Yoon Jeong-bin, walked, and Park Byung-ho, who had the bases loaded, scored on a passed ball.

After the bottom of the second inning, the bats went silent and the gap couldn’t be widened, but the starting pitcher kept the SSG bats in check. He continued his scoreless streak through the big and small crises and went seven innings on his own.

In need of an insurance run, Samsung scored a run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run by leadoff hitter Yoon Jung-bin, and after a double by Park Byung-ho and a single by Lee Chang-yong, Kim Heon-gon drove in a run with a bases-loaded single. The gap between the two teams widened to four runs, further tilting the game in Samsung’s favor.

The bullpen, which took over the mound after Connor’s seven innings of work, did their part as well. Kim Jae-yoon in the eighth inning and Lee 사설토토 Seung-hyun in the ninth closed out the game with one hitless, one walk, one strikeout, and no runs allowed to keep SSG at bay.

After the game, manager Park Jin-man praised the pitchers, saying, “The starting corner showed the best velocity and the best pitching since his debut in Korea, which is what we want from a number one starter. The bullpen was also perfect,” praised the pitchers.

“We scored two runs in the first inning and held a precarious lead, but Yoon Jung-bin’s home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave us the lead for good. This home run was the first team in the KBO to reach 50,000 hits, so I think it means more to me and I want to congratulate him.”

Finally, Park Jin-man said, “The fans’ support is giving the players a lot of energy. We will do our best to continue our winning streak again. Please give us your support for the three-game weekend series.”

Samsung will play a three-game series at home against the Doosan Bears starting on the 21st. Left-hander Lee Seung-hyun will start against Choi Jun-ho in the 21st game.

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