‘2 companies loaded with bases → 4 pitches strikeout crisis clear’ Kiwoom veteran’s dedication struggle, erasing the rookie’s nightmare… “We are the youngest on our team, so we have to stop it” 

“(Oh) Sang-won is the youngest on our team, so we have to stop him.”

3 runs before the end of the 2nd inning. Steel plate with 2 outs loaded. It could have been a nightmare for rookie Oh Sang-won (19), who made his starting debut with a large number of goals. However, veteran Ha Young-min (29, Lee Sang Kiwoom Heroes) turned the batter into a strikeout on a swing in four pitches, making the imminent crisis nothing.메이저놀이터

Kiwoom won 7-6 against Lotte in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season home game held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro-gu, Seoul on the 20th.

It was a game in which victory was difficult to predict. While Lotte promoted local ace Park Se-woong, Kiwoom had no choice but to promote rookie Oh Sang-won due to Ariel Hurado’s break and Jeong Chan-heon’s injury gap. After graduating from Sunrin Internet High School, Oh Sang-won was nominated by Kiwoom with the 16th overall in the 2nd round of the 2023 rookie draft. On the 29th of last month, he made his first team debut as a relief pitcher against the Gocheok Samsung Lions, but this was his first start. He had an average ERA of 9.00 in 2 games in the first team and 4 losses in 19 games in the Futures League and an average ERA of 6.06, so expectations were not high. Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki also said before the game, “I hope you can endure well until the third inning. I want you to show only the image you prepared for. I am a rookie this year, so I don’t want anything big.”

As expected, the Lotte batting line was still difficult for him. In the first inning, Lee Jung-hoon got a left-handed hit by Lee Jeong-hoon, and right fielder Lim Byeong-wook failed to catch An Chi-hong’s batted ball, giving up one run. In the second episode, he was driven into a bigger crisis. Starting with a walk to Park Seung-wook, he was hit with consecutive hits by Jeong Bo-geun and Bae Young-bin, putting him on the verge of being loaded safely. Although he handled the ball that left Ahn Kwon-soo and Kim Min-seok, Lee Jung-hoon again hit 2 RBIs in the middle right and hit An Chi-hong, causing a two-out bases crisis again.

It was Ha Young-min who pitched at this time. Ha Young-min is a 10-year professional veteran who joined Nexen (currently Kiwoom) with the 4th overall pick in the 2nd round of the 2014 rookie draft. Ha Young-min easily escaped the crisis with a strike-out, not-out, pulling out 3 swings with 4 sliders. He struck out two even in the third inning, creating a three-way inning and bringing back the flow that almost went to Lotte. In the 4th inning, he was hit with a double hit by Bae Young-bin, who passed the height of the left fielder, and faced a 1-out 3 base crisis, but the tight tension was maintained as he blocked it with 1 run. The Kiwoom batting line also chased with 1 point in the 3rd inning and 2 points in the 4th inning thanks to Ha Young-min’s dedicated pitching, and finally achieved a 7-6 come-from-behind victory.

This year, Ha Young-min comes up at any time and plays the role of a madang key to maintain the atmosphere of the game. It was the same on this day. He started warming up from the start of the game in preparation for Sang-Won Oh’s quick turn, and his mindset was different. Ha Young-min, whom we met after the game, said, “(Oh) Sang-won is the youngest member of our team, so I tried to block him as much as possible. It is really fortunate that his efforts led to good results. Also, since we are currently winning 2 games in a row, if I block him here, the batters will score. I had faith that he would pick me up,” he said.

He was already accustomed to climbing in a crisis situation. Ha Young-min expressed his candid feelings, saying, “There is nothing burdensome about pitching in a crisis situation. Rather, the coach believed in me and let me go, so I just wanted to repay as much as possible. That’s why I threw things with more focus.”

He is one of the unsung heroes who do not hesitate to do dirty work in a position he is less interested in than others, but the player himself recalls many times when he was not helpful to the team. Ha Young-min said, “Personally, there were many games I lost because of me at the beginning of this season. I went up to a tie and there was no good result, and I thought it was my fault. So, I started the second half with the mindset of helping the team.” I ate it hard. At the beginning of the season, I had the mindset that ‘I can’t help it even if I lose a run’, but in the second half, I worked with the mindset that I had to throw as well as possible.”

All team members helped Ha Young-min together. He said, “The power analysis team gave me a paper analysis table of my pitches and explained it in detail. I’m not particularly good for left-handed hitters (opponent batting average 0.423), but as I kept talking and thinking about it on the mound as I threw it, I felt that I was getting better and better. Let’s stick together. But let’s not get hit as much as possible,” he said.

Thanks to that, I got to the podium interview for the first time this season. It was a position for about a year. Ha Young-min said, “It’s been a while since we went up, but there were so many fans that I got a little goosebumps. I thought that thanks to these people’s support, we could gain strength. That’s why it was really good.” I plan to go up to the end as much as I can. I will do my best to show the fans a good image by continuing the winning streak as much as possible.”


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