Wednesday, 6th December 2023

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KIA keeps hopes alive with hard-fought win

After a hard-fought come-from-behind win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the fifth round alive, Kia Tigers manager Kim Jong-kook reiterated his team’s commitment to going all out.

The Tigers came from behind to win 6-5 against Lotte at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Wednesday. Foreign starter Mario Sanchez was limited to four runs in 3⅔ innings, but Socrates Brito and Lee Woo-sung combined for five RBIs to lead the offense. With the win, KIA improved to 71-2-68 on the season and maintained a two-game lead over the fifth-place Doosan Bears (72-2-65), who swept the NC Dinos 11-1 earlier in the day.

The game remained close throughout. After giving up three runs in the top of the second inning to Lotte, KIA tied the game in the bottom of the third with a two-run double by Lee Woo-sung, but gave up a run in the top of the fourth. They scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead, but gave it back in the top of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, left-handed reliever Choi Ji-min was hit by a pitch and walked, but Lee Woo-sung’s RBI single put them back in front, and Jeon Sang-hyun saved the day in the top of the eighth, preserving the one-run lead until Jung Hae-young closed out the game. A loss would have widened the gap between them and fifth-place Doosan, effectively eliminating their chances of qualifying for the top five, but Kia managed to keep their hopes alive.

Coach Kim said after the game: “It was a difficult flow when Sanchez gave up a run early in the game, but Lee Woo-sung hit a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning to change the mood. And in the bottom of the fourth inning, when we were down by two runs, Socrates hit the game-winning hit. Then, with the game tied once again, Lee delivered 토토사이트 the game-winning hit. It was a strong performance from the center field lineup.” “On the mound, Park Jun-pyo, who came in as the third pitcher, pitched 1⅓ innings of solid relief, and Jeon Sang-hyun pitched 1⅔ innings of relief, despite being in trouble. The win was even more meaningful because it came in a tough situation.”

Kim concluded, “We have three games left, and we’re going to give it our all. I would like to bow down and thank the fans for being with us today.”

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