“We lost today, but we have a chance next time, so we’ll make sure to clean up our act,” said Liu Zhong-il, head coach of the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, following the 0-4 loss to Chinese Taipei in the first game of the Group B preliminary round on Feb. 2.
Moon Dong-joo took the loss for South Korea, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk with three strikeouts in four innings. Yoon Dong-hee did her part with a multi-hit game for the second straight day, but No. 4 Kang Baek-ho remained silent, going 0-for-8 in two games.
Manager Ryu Jung-il said after the game, “There’s nothing to say because we lost. We failed to take advantage of their pitchers,” he said, adding, “We did a lot of research (on Taiwanese pitchers), but what you see on video is very different from what you see in real life. They were fast, had good changeups and good control. We had chances to score, but we couldn’t hit the ball well because their pitchers were strong.”
South Korea lost to Chinese Taipei but beat Hong Kong and Thailand to finish second in Group B (2-1) and advance to the Super Round. They defeated Japan (2-0) on Friday and China (8-1) on Saturday before facing Chinese Taipei again in the final on Sunday.
South Korea entered Hangzhou with only one goal: to win gold. An early lead is crucial to fulfill their dream of a fourth consecutive title. It is encouraging to see the bats heating up ahead of the final gateway to the title.
In particular, Kang Baek-ho’s batting recovery has been a godsend. He has been labeled as an “international batsman” for his fierce hitting in various international events, but he hasn’t been able to showcase his skills in this tournament. In the China game, he swung a three-hit bat for the first time since joining Hangzhou.
“It’s encouraging to see Kang Baek-ho come back to life,” said coach Ryu Jung-il after the win over China.토토사이트
Kang Baek-ho, who led the way in defeating China, said, “It was an important game today, and it’s an important game tomorrow, but it was a satisfying home run because I feel like my physical condition has improved. I’m happy that it helped Korea win more than my first home run.”
Emphasizing the importance of scoring first, Kang emphasized, “We will focus on batting first because if we score first, our pitchers will be able to protect us.”
Won Tae-in, who pitched a six-inning no-hitter against China, said, “All the players are very motivated to avenge our first loss against Taiwan. “After we lost that day, we all said in a mobile messenger group chat room, ‘Let’s make it to the final and get revenge. We want to win the gold medal.”
Won continued, “If the batters can score the first run like they did today, I think we’ll be able to take it easy because the mound is so solid. In the last game, we lost the momentum because we gave up the first run, but if we score first, we can win the game.”
“We lost to them once, so we’ll prepare well and attack them,” said Liu Zhong-il, who is expecting left-hander Lin Yumin, who started the first game against Chinese Taipei, to start the final.