‘Roar’ with a game-tying double vs. ‘Sumo’ with no chance and eventual substitution

The difference in the match came down to the number four. The Samsung Lions’ new No. 4 hitter delivered the game-winning hit, while the NC Dinos’ trusted foreign bats blew several chances.

Samsung won 3-2 in the regular season opener of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League against NC at Changwon NC Park on Nov. 11.

Avenging a blowout loss the day before (3-10), Samsung remained in third place with a season record of 22 wins, 17 losses, and one draw (0.564 winning percentage), and closed the gap on second-place NC back to one game. On the other hand, NC, which had a chance to catch up with the first-place KIA Tigers with a loss, could not continue its good run.

Ahead of the first game of the series on Tuesday, the managers of both teams commented on their respective No. 4 hitters. NC manager Kang Myung-hwa (52) said of foreign player Matt Davidson (33), “I think he has adapted to the KBO to a certain extent.” Davidson activated his home run gun for the first time in a long time with a multi-homer game against Suwon KT on Aug. 8.

“I think he would have adapted faster if he had continued to bat without injury,” said Kang, who recalled that he was out of the lineup for 10 days in mid-April due to left elbow ligament damage, “but we have a lot of confidence in him because he is filling in for the long balls that we need.”

Samsung manager Park Jin-man (46) mentioned Kim Young-woong (21), who has been batting No. 4 since the team’s game against KIA in Daegu on Sept. 9. He is first on the team with nine home runs as of Oct. 10. “He’s the team’s top home run hitter right now, so it’s enough for him to bat No. 4,” Park said, nodding to his performance.

“She batted more confidently in the No. 4 spot, like she didn’t have any pressure,” Park said, adding, “Obviously, she’s been batting No. 5 for a while, so it shouldn’t be too much pressure.” “I feel like she’s in the right batting order for her,” he said.

In the 11th game, Davidson was in the starting lineup as NC’s No. 4 hitter and first baseman, and Kim Young-woong was in the starting lineup as Samsung’s third 메이저사이트 baseman and No. 4 hitter.

Neither player did much until the middle of the game. Davidson led off the second inning with a fly ball to center field and struck out in the fourth inning with runners on first and second with a 1-0 lead. Davidson struck out against Samsung’s third pitcher, Lee Seung-hyun, in the sixth inning.

Kim Young-woong was no different. He walked David McKinnon with one out in the first inning and grounded out to first base to end the inning. He was struck out in his third at-bat of the sixth inning on a fly ball to left field.

In the seventh inning, however, Samsung and NC split the top four spots in the batting order. In the top of the seventh inning, Samsung’s Kim Sung-yoon and Kang Min-ho drew walks. With runners on first and second, Koo Ja-rook’s line drive hit Davidson at first base and bounced sideways, bringing Samsung within one run. NC switched pitchers from Kim Young-gyu to Han Jae-seung, but McKinnon’s groundout loaded the bases.

Here, No. 4 Kim Young-woong took advantage of Han Jae-seung’s fastball and dropped it in front of the right fielder. Kang Min-ho and Koo Ja-uk crossed home plate to give Samsung a 3-2 lead. Kim Young-woong celebrated with a thumbs-up gesture after crossing first base.

NC had the same opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning. After back-to-back strikeouts against substitute pitcher Lim Chang-min loaded the bases with two outs, Park Min-woo and Son As-seob singled. Park then drew a walk to load the bases for NC.

Davidson stepped to the plate. After fouling off the first two pitches, he picked off a high fastball on the third pitch. The next pitch was a fastball up the middle, but Davidson struck out swinging. The bases were loaded.

NC replaced Davidson with Young-soo Oh on defense in the top of the eighth inning after an “accident” in the field. However, NC’s ‘No. 4 nightmare’ continued until the end of the game when Oh was caught on a shortstop fly with runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth inning.

In modern baseball, the fourth spot in the batting order is less important than it used to be, but it’s still a big opportunity that can’t be ignored. In that sense, this game was decided by the number four hitter.

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