Okinawa (Japan)] After the 2022 season, KIA Tigers Kim Gyu-seong and Kim Seok-hwan, who returned after gaining a lot of experience in Geelong Korea, Australia, wielded fire bats.
On the 3rd, KIA won 8-0 in a practice game against the Lotte Giants held at Kin Town Baseball Stadium in Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. KIA won two consecutive wins, starting with the Samsung Lions match.
It was a match with a perfect balance of pitching and hitting, but the players who stood out the most this day were Kim Kyu-seong and Kim Seok-hwan. Kim Kyu-seong started as second baseman and hitter number 9 and went 2 hits and 2 RBIs in 4 at-bats, while Kim Seok-hwan made an impressive impression with 2 hits (1 home run), 3 RBIs and 2 runs in 4 at-bats, including a wedge two-run.
At the beginning of the game, Kyu-Sung Kim’s performance stood out. At the end of the second inning with a 1-0 lead, Kim Kyu-seong continued his good feeling by hitting a large two-run double in the center field against Lotte starter Lee Min-seok in the first at-bat with a chance to score with two outs on first and second base. And in the second at-bat with no runners out in the 4th inning, he recorded a hit against the changed pitcher Seo Jun-won, completing the ‘multi-hit’ game early.
From the middle of the game, Kim Seok-hwan’s sense of hitting awakened. In the bottom of the 5th inning with a 3-0 lead, Kim Seok-hwan made a timely hit to the left field against Lotte Yoon Myung-jun and reported his first hit with 2 outs and 1st and 2nd base chances. And at the end of the 7th inning, leading 6-0, with one out and one on first base, this time, he hit a superior two-run gun against Moon Kyung-chan, putting a wedge in the win. The distance of the batted ball was 140m.
Kim Gyu-seong and Kim Seok-hwan are all players who returned after gaining a lot of experience while playing for Geelong Korea in Australia after the 2022 season ended. Kim Kyu-seong played 27 games for Geelong Korea, hitting 3 homers with a batting average of 0.281 and 0.764, and Seok-hwan Kim hit 4 homers and hitting 0.294 and an OPS of 1.105 in 10 games until the 4th round. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the confrontation with Lotte on this day was a victory led by players from Geelong Korea.
Kim Kyu-seong said, “Rather than being in good batting condition, I’m paying attention to timing, and that resulted in good results.” and smiled.
Kim Gyu-seong, who stepped on the professional stage through the rookie draft in 2016, but does not have much experience in the first team, is also ‘serious’ in practice. He said, “It would be a lie if I said it wasn’t physically difficult. But I have to show a good performance in the practice game. I plan to upgrade myself through the camp.”
The Australian experience is now a great help to Kim Kyu-sung. He said, “I don’t have a lot of experience at bat, but playing in Australia, that feeling continues to this day. I also gained a lot of confidence. Coach Lee Byeong-gyu (Samsung coach) said, ‘You don’t look confident. You can’t swing your own swing.’ He said, but those words touched me very much and were helpful.” He emphasized, “If the opportunity comes to me, I will faithfully fulfill my duties as a backup.”스포츠토토
Although he did not stay in Australia longer than Kim Kyu-sung, Kim Seok-hwan from Geelong also stood at the vanguard of victory. The ball Kim Seok-hwan hit that day was big enough to hit the upper right net of Kin Stadium. He laughed, saying, “I didn’t hit the ball, but I was only looking at the course I liked. I struck out in the first two at-bats, but I didn’t dwell on it. Since it’s already in the past, thinking carefully about each at-bat led to good results.”
Last year’s 51 appearances and Australia’s experience are becoming flesh and blood. Kim Seok-hwan said, “I gained a lot mentally last year. However, I was disappointed that I couldn’t even do half of what I wanted to do. This year, I have the idea to do it without any regrets.” I am ready,” he said confidently.
Kim Seok-hwan said, “This year’s goal and resolution are the same. It is to play without regrets on the pitch. I will do my best without regrets at every turn.” squeezed