A high school friendship continues to this day.
Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz) won a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. He played in all six games, hitting .273 with six doubles, one home run, three RBIs, two runs scored, and a .742 OPS.
His opponent in the gold medal game was Taiwan. The Chinese Taipei team had a player with a special connection to Kang Baek-ho. Liu Zhi-liang. Liu is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. The two players first met and bonded at the 2016 Asian Youth Championships.
In 26 games (24 starts) at Double-A this season, Liu has a 7-8 record, 114 1/3 innings pitched, 74 runs (68 earned) allowed, 69 walks, 145 strikeouts, a 5.35 ERA, and a 1.56 WHIP.
Liu appeared in two games for Chinese Taipei at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Both games were against South Korea. In the Group B matchup on Feb. 2, he pitched one inning of scoreless relief in the ninth, allowing one hit and striking out two. In the gold medal game on Sunday, he took the mound in the sixth inning and pitched four innings of one-hit ball with one walk and six strikeouts.안전놀이터
Liu posted a message to Kang on his social media (SNS) on the 13th. In Korean, Liu wrote, “It’s been a long time, my friend. It’s been almost six years since we met. I was so excited when I found out you were going to the Asian Games. I already knew you were stressed before we met, so I wanted to support you by hugging you every time we met, even if it wasn’t through language. As a teammate of the opposing team, I was disappointed that you won, but as a friend, I was happy to see you relaxed after the game.” “Let’s work hard for the baseball we love. Let’s play on a better stage next time. See you again.”
Meanwhile, Kang Baek-ho returned to KT to play one game after winning the gold medal. He appeared as a designated hitter in the final game against the Doosan Bears at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday. After completing the regular season, Kang Baek-ho will regroup for the KBO postseason playoffs, which begin on April 30.