After defeating arch-rivals Japan to boost their chances of reaching the final of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, South Korea’s baseball team manager Ryu Jung-il said he will not lock in a closer and will wait to see who is best suited.
“We have two pitchers, Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz) and Ko Woo-seok (LG Twins), who are candidates for the closer role, so we’ll wait and see,” Ryu said after the team defeated Japan 2-0 in the first game of the Super Round of the tournament on Friday at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Center 1 in Zhejiang, China.
Park Young-hyun, who pitched the eighth inning, took over for Ko Woo-seok in the ninth and pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save. He was particularly impressive in the ninth inning, when he induced a grounder and a double play with runners on first and second with no outs.
Ko Woo-seok, the national team’s steady closer, faltered after allowing two runs in a group game against Chinese Taipei on Feb. 2.
With Park leading the Korean Baseball Organization in saves this year (32), Ryu strongly hinted that he might entrust him with the back-end of the bullpen duties for the remaining two games in the quest for gold.
“I was disappointed that we couldn’t score in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners on first and third,” Ryu said. “When Moon Bo-kyung (LG Twins) came to bat, I tried to play a game plan to avoid a double play, but Japan defended well.”
Moon laid down a bunt and Yoon stole second for a chance to put runners on first and second and third, but Japan was well prepared and caught Yoon at second base.
“Chinese baseball has improved a lot,” Liu said of the team that will face China on June 6, “especially their catchers. We will prepare well for their style of pitching. We don’t know what to expect, so we are determined to beat China.”토토사이트
Meanwhile, Choi Won-jun (KIA Tigers), who joined the national team as a wild card, is currently receiving treatment for a sore left calf, Liu said.