Professional baseball KT implemented manager Lee Kang-chul’s “happiness circuit” on the ground as it is, winning 9-0 against Kiwoom and sweeping three consecutive games to end the first half.

Ahead of the match against Kiwoom in Gocheok on the 13th, coach Lee said, “I hit 14 hits yesterday, but I only scored four points.” “There was no double,” he said, regretting the lack of timely hits and long hits despite the 4-3 victory the previous day. Regarding Doosan, which won nine consecutive games the previous day, he envied the stable starting lineup, saying, “I don’t know the lead fight anymore because the starting lineup is stable.”

Perhaps because of coach Lee’s “sickness,” KT’s batters scored 11 hits on the day, all four of which led to scores. On the mound, starter Ko Young-pyo (32) pitched five hits and no runs in seven innings, followed by Joo Kwon (28) in the eighth inning and Kim Min (25) in the ninth inning without additional runs.

On this day, KT’s batters hit a double from leadoff hitter Kim Min-hyuk (28) in the bottom of the first inning, and easily scored the first run with an infield hit by No. 2 hitter Kim Sang-soo (33) and a double by No. 3 hitter Alford (29). KT, which added one run with Jang Sung-woo (33)’s ground ball, added two runs with consecutive doubles in the fourth inning to replace Kiwoom starter McKinney (29). KT scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings against Jang Jae-young (21), who pitched as a relief pitcher in the fifth inning, and even hit home runs in consecutive at-bats by Park Byung-ho (37) and Kim Joon-tae (29) in the ninth inning.

Ko Young-pyo was hit in the leg by 꽁머니지급 Kiwoom Joo Sung-won (23) after catching two outs in the second inning, but he came down from the mound for a while and took the mound after taping. Returning, Ko Young-pyo caught Joo Sung-won, who got on base, with a check on first base, and threw one more ball and finished the inning.

In the fourth inning, Park Kyung-soo (39), the oldest infielder in the league, lightened Ko Young-pyo’s shoulders by playing a good defense that forgot his age. Park Kyung-soo, who caught Kim Hye-sung (24)’s sharp grounder to second base in the fourth inning with no outs and runners on first base, threw a glove to shortstop Kim Sang-soo, who was on second base cover while lying down, to get the first baseman out.

Kim Sang-soo raised his thumb and gave a “90-degree greeting” to Park Kyung-soo, who played an animal-sense defense that was not envious of Kim Hye-sung in front of Kiwoom’s second baseman Kim Hye-sung. Lee Jung-hoo (25)’s left-center hit followed, so if Park Kyung-soo failed to catch the runner at second base, it could have led to a run.

With the veteran’s hustle play, Ko Young-pyo finished the first half with a quality start (less than three runs in six innings) in seven consecutive games from June to this day, and a quality start plus (less than three runs in seven innings) in five of them. Ko Young-pyo said, “I didn’t like the start of this season, so my goal was to balance from June, but my form came up as planned. In particular, it’s good to be able to do a lot of quality start plus,” he said adding, “I’m proud to be playing a role that helps the team.”

On the other hand, Kiwoom, which was blocked by Ko Young-pyo and failed to score a single point, ended the first half in ninth place with seven consecutive losses. Kiwoom, which has advanced to autumn baseball for five consecutive years since the 2018 season, has stepped into the Korean Series twice (2019, 2022), and aims to win its first championship this year, desperately needs a rebound in the second half.

Kiwoom asked the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to disclose the wave of foreign hitter Russell (29) before the game and reported the news of the recruitment of new foreign hitter Ronnie Dawson (28). Kiwoom general manager Ko Hyung-wook said, “In order to rebound in the second half, we need to increase our scoring productivity with various attack routes,” adding, “I hope Dawson will open the way for the attack in the second half.”

Dawson will finish administrative procedures such as issuing visas and join the team in time for the first game of the second half of the year, the match against Lotte on the 21st.

NC won 13-3 in the “Nakdong River Derby” against Lotte in Changwon by hitting three home runs, including Martin’s first consecutive at-bats home run. NC Son Ah-seop (35) had five hits in five at-bats, conquering the 100-hit mark for 14 consecutive years. On the other hand, Lotte also fell to fifth place as its 50% winning rate collapsed due to the defeat.

Samsung, the lowest-ranked team, had a “good end” in which starter Buchanan (34) was in charge of the mound until the ninth inning with 119 pitches and won 4-1 against KIA. Buchanan is the first to win a complete game based on nine innings this season. With the victory, Samsung also escaped its seventh straight loss against KIA. On the other hand, KIA, which had won six consecutive games, finished the first half in sixth place by one game without narrowing the gap with Lotte, the fifth place that lost.

Hanwha-LG (Jamsil) and Doosan-SSG (Munhak) games, which were scheduled to be held on this day, could not be held due to monsoon rains. As a result, 48 out of 445 games (10.8%) scheduled for the first half of this year were canceled due to rain, fine dust or ground conditions. The KBO plans to organize Monday’s game or doubleheader game in the second half of the season.

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