Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom, 23), who has grown up as a right-handed fireballer representing Korea’s professional baseball, has chosen Kim Kwang-hyeon (SSG, 34) as the pitcher he admires. Ahn Woo-jin said, “I was fascinated by Kim Kwang-hyun’s senior pitching form, and I also want to learn how to adjust the angle and speed of the slider.” Ahn Woo-jin and Kim Kwang-hyun played a starting match. Ahn Woo-jin showed off his presence without hesitation in front of his idol and KBO’s best left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun.
2nd place Kiwoom escaped from 4 consecutive losses by defeating 1st place SSG, which Kim Kwang-hyun started, with Ahn Woo-jin’s hot fight. In the match held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 3rd, Kiwoom defeated SSG, who was pursuing to the end, and won 3-2. With this victory, Kiwoom is 7 games behind SSG.
It was a meaningful victory for Kiwoom. It was also important that the first and second place team aces had a head-to-head match, but before this game, the second place Kiwoom was on a four-game losing streak and was sluggish with 4 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses in the second half.
Kim Kwang-hyun started two games against Kiwoom this season and won two, and his ERA was only 0.75. However, Kiwoom’s other lines showed concentration and surpassed Kim Kwang-hyun. He made the first point from the first inning and lightened Ahn Woo-jin’s shoulder. Kiwoom took the lead when Kim Jun-wan, who was on base with an infield hit, stepped home when Lee Jeong-hoo hit the middle. In the 3rd inning, after two runs, Lee Jung-hoo walked to base and then Yasiel Puig hit a double in the right middle and added one point.
In the meantime, Ahn Woo-jin tied the SSG line. Ahn Woo-jin caught Shin-soo Choo, Ji-hoon Choi, and Jeong Choi with just eight balls in the first inning. In the 3rd inning, he hit Jae-won Lee right-handed and threw the ball powerful enough to allow the first on base. In this game, Ahn Woo-jin gave only three hits and one walk in seven innings, but he pitched without a score while striking out seven. SSG started to explode when Kiwoom’s closing pitcher Kim Jae-woong came up. Kim Jae-woong was shaken by a two-run four by Choi Jeong, but he did not allow a comeback and finished the game.
With this, Ahn Woo-jin won his 11th win (five losses) of the season and lowered his ERA from 2.41 to 2.28. Kim Kwang-hyun pitched with 5 hits and 2 runs in 6 innings, but did not get the win. His ERA rose from 1.67 to 1.74, but he had to be content with maintaining the top spot.
Reporter Jeong Pil-jae
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