KT WIZ, which was in danger of being eliminated from the fall stage, fought back.
KT defeated the NC Dinos 3-0 in the visiting team’s third game of the Baseball World Series 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Playoffs (PO) at Changwon NC Park on Nov. 2.
KT, which was on the brink of a best-of-five PO after dropping the first and second games at home, breathed a sigh of relief with the victory in the third game.
NC, which had won nine straight postseason games from Game 4 of the 2020 Korean Series (KS) to Game 2 of this year’s PO to tie the KBO’s longest postseason winning streak (9), achieved by the Hattae Tigers from Game 4 of the 1987 PO to Game 3 of the 1988 KS, failed to set a new record with the loss. NC’s unbeaten streak in the 2023 postseason (six games) also came to a halt in the seventh game.
The two teams will play Game 4 at 6:30 p.m. on March 3 at Changwon NC Park.
Before the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “If we take the lead early in the game, we have a chance to win.” He also expressed his confidence in starter Ko Young-pyo.
True to Lee’s wishes, KT took the lead in the second inning with a two-run homer by Choi Jae-dae, and the bullpen shut down the NC bats to secure a valuable one-run win.
In the top of the first inning, back-to-back singles by Kim Sang-soo and Hwang Jae-gyun put runners on first and third with no outs, but center fielder Anthony Alford, Park Byung-ho, and Jang Sung-woo retired the side in order to end the inning.
However, in the top of the second inning, Choi Sung-ho lined a single up the middle.
With the bases loaded and one out, he took a 122-kilometer-per-hour slider from NC starter Tanner Tully for a two-run arch over the left field wall, giving KT the lead for the first time in the PO.
After hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the PO, Choi hit the game-winning two-run shot in Game 3, becoming the first KT batter to hit two or more home runs in a single postseason.
He also became KT’s second multi-homer hitter in a single postseason.
Moon led off the top of the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead and hit a 130-kilometer-per-hour slider from NC left-hander Kim Young-gyu over the left field wall. Moon Sang-cheol, who hit a solo shot in the first inning of the PO, continued his exhilarating touch in the third inning, giving KT the “extra run” they were eagerly awaiting.
KT’s homegrown ace, Ko Young-pyo, pitched six innings of three-hit ball, striking out five with his ‘dancing changeup’.
He got a double treat on his son’s first birthday by picking up his first career postseason win.
While he was on the mound, NC batters didn’t even reach second base.
KT bullpen Son Dong-hyun, Park Young-hyun, and Kim Jae-yoon, who were activated in the seventh inning, also pitched one inning of relief each to preserve the win.
The NC batters, who had hit home runs in six consecutive PS games this year until the second game of the PO, ended the day without even reaching second base. 슬롯게이밍