KT is on its way to busy Dusan. In the final game of the season, the team finished on a high note by clinching second place in the regular season in front of its home fans.
KT won the season finale against the Doosan Bears 5-4 on Tuesday at Katie Weeds Park in Suwon, thanks to Kang Hyun-woo’s dramatic walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. The win extended KT’s lead over third-place Doosan to five games with the final game of the regular season. Regardless of the outcome of Doosan’s remaining games of the season, they clinched second place. Direct to the playoffs. For the fourth consecutive year, the team advanced to the postseason.
It was a tough loss for Doosan, who has a long way to go. They are in a tight 3-5th place battle with NC Dinos and SSG Landers. Every game is a final. The shock was multiplied by the fact that the top two players, Hong Gun-hee and Chung Chul-won, who were trusted to win the game, collapsed and lost late in the game. They were in third place without a win before this match, but with both NC and SSG winning on the day, they dropped from third to fifth place at once.
It was a close game. Both teams were desperate to win. It’s no secret why Doosan needed to win, and KT wanted to clinch second place in style in front of their home fans in the final game. Both teams went all out like there was no tomorrow.
Before the game, it looked like Doosan had the advantage. KT, which was preparing to start Ko Young-pyo, decided it was better to take the long view and give him a rest, so they used the day as a bullpen day. However, things didn’t look good for the ambitious starter when he was hit by a single and a double from Jung Soo-bin and Rojas in the first inning. However, KT was able to keep their spirits up as Choi kept the first inning to one run.
In the second inning, they tied the game. Choi Sung-ho hit a single to center field. KT removed Choi from the game after two innings and brought in Kang Geon, signaling Operation Bee Swarm.
But the eager Doosan didn’t stand idly by. In the fourth inning, Park Jun-young took a hard curveball from Kang Geon and slammed it home for a run-scoring single.
The rest of the game was a scoreless, but nail-biting affair. Both teams had chances in almost every inning, but the pitchers were able to get out of trouble. The deciding run never came.
Then, in the bottom of the eighth inning. KT had a chance to end the game. Two walks put runners on first and second base. Doosan brought in closer Chung Chul-won to put out the fire, but as soon as he came up, he was hit by a pitch and gave up a two-run double to the plate.
Doosan didn’t give up until the very end. In the top of the ninth, Jeong Soo-bin led off with a triple off KT closer Kim Jae-yoon. The tying run, Kim Tae-geun, struck out swinging to end the inning, but the trusty Yang Seok-hwan came through with the game-winning double. It was a hard-hit ball to third base, and if KT third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun had caught it, Jung Soo-bin would have been out. However, the ball was too fast for Hwang to catch and it was a double. Lucky for Doosan.
Yang Yang-ji singled and Kim Jae-hwan grounded out to first base to put runners on second and third. This is where Kim Jae-yoon’s unbelievable blast came in. It looked like Doosan was going to score the winning run.
But KT didn’t let the fans go home without a fight. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Hwang Jae-gyun hit a dramatic game-tying solo shot off Chung 안전놀이터 Chul-won. Hwang Jae-gyun’s sixth home run of the season came at a crucial time, as he only had five home runs this season.
Jung Chul-won gave up back-to-back singles to Park Byung-ho and Lee Ho-yeon in the first inning due to pitching problems. An infield grounder by Kang Baek-ho put runners on second and third. KT pulled out the pinch-hitter. Song Min-seop. Doosan responded with a high four-pitch at-bat. KT knew they couldn’t change Kang Hyun-woo after exhausting their catcher roster. But Kang Hyun-woo rang the bell. He picked off four pitches from Jung Chul-won.