The NC Dinos continued their momentum from the previous day’s big win with a thrilling come-from-behind victory against LG. The game resumed unfinished when a bat was hit by the umpire in a situation that could have ended the game, and Kwon Hee-dong emerged as the hero with a three-run shot. For LG, it was painful that the game did not end when NC’s Park Gun-woo’s bat hit the umpire two balls later in the ninth inning.

The NC Dinos rallied for a 7-5 victory over the LG Twins in their 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game at NC Park in Changwon on Saturday, led by Kwon Hee-dong’s three-run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning.

With the victory, NC, which had won 14-1 the previous day, continued its winning ways and improved to 54 wins, 49 losses and two draws. At the same time, they secured a three-game weekend sweep. LG, on the other hand, narrowly missed out on a loss the previous day and remained atop the league with a record of 65 wins, 40 losses and two ties this season.

LG starter Plutko went four innings, allowing one run (one earned) on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts before leaving the game with thigh discomfort. He threw 80 pitches. He threw a mix of 30 sliders, 24 fastballs, 14 cutters, seven curves, and five changeups, with his fastball topping out at 148 mph. 47 strikes. 33 balls. Yoo Young-chan, Baek Seung-hyun, Ham Duk-joo, Kim Jin-sung, and Ko Woo-seok took the mound for one inning each. The LG bats totaled 10 hits, led by Oh Ji-hwan with three and Shin Min-jae and Moon Bo-kyung with multi-hit performances.

NC starter Tanner allowed four runs (four earned) on eight hits (one home run) with one walk and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 83 pitches, 47 fastballs, 25 sliders, nine changeups, and two curves. His fastball topped out at 147 mph. He had 53 strikes and 33 balls. Kim Young-kyu (⅔ innings), Song Myung-ki (1 inning), Ryu Jin-wook (⅔ innings), and Lim Jung-ho (1⅓ innings) followed him on the mound. The 13-hit offense was led by Son Asub, Do Tae-hoon, Park Min-woo, Seo Ho-cheol, and Martin with multi-hit games. The winning pitcher was Lim Jung-ho (3-1). The losing pitcher was Ko Woo-seok (3-5, 12 saves). Kwon’s walk-off home run was his eighth of the season, 360th of his career, and first in the KBO.
LG Twins vs NC Dinos Starting Lineup and Manager’s Pregame Comments (August 26, Changwon NC Park, 13,384 fans in attendance)
The LG Twins lined up in the following order: Hong Chang-ki (right fielder), Shin Min-jae (second baseman), Kim Min-sung (first baseman), Austin (designated hitter), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman), Park Dong-won (catcher), Moon Sung-joo (left fielder), and Park Hae-min (center fielder). The starting pitcher was Adam Plutko. Only Kim Min-sung and Moon Bo-kyung’s batting order changed from the previous day. Kim Hyun-soo was left out of the starting lineup for the second straight day. Before the game, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop explained Kim’s absence, saying, “His tonsils are swollen and he has a fever. He didn’t even come to the stadium, and I told him to get some rest at home.” “I’m most sorry for the fans,” he said of the previous day’s loss. If it was a home game, I would have tried to keep my starter in until the seventh inning, but it’s a manager’s job to take what you can get from a loss. Even if I was criticized, I had to take it.”

In response, the NC Dinos went with the following starting batting order: Son Ah-seop (designated hitter), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Gun-woo (right field), Martin (center field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Do Tae-hoon (first base), Seo Ho-cheol (third base), Kim Joo-won (shortstop), and Ahn Jung-yeol (catcher). There were no changes to the starting lineup from the previous day. The starting pitcher was Tanner Tully. Before the game, NC head coach Kang Myung-hwa smiled and said, “It was a game that comes around once a year,” and then added, “The hitters’ concentration was good from the beginning of the game. I think it was mainly because we prepared for the batting part by actively attacking balls in the count,” he said. On Tanner, he said, “He’s got a lot of confidence. His changeup is good quality. He has one of the best sliders in the game, a sweeper to lefties. He has the ability to go long innings,” he said.
1st to 3rd innings: ‘0-0′ for both teams’ foreign aces
Tanner, who joined NC as an alternate starter during the season, had started two games before this one, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He tossed six innings of six-hit ball with four strikeouts and three runs (three earned) against Hanwha on Aug. 15, and again on Aug. 20, he tossed six innings of seven-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts and three runs (one earned) against Doosan. After two consecutive quality starts (6 innings, 3 earned runs or less), he failed to pitch a quality start for the first time against the LG offense.

In the first inning, both starters settled in and pitched well. Tanner allowed a run in each inning from the first to the third, but showed his ability to manage the situation. In the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Hong Chang-ki to right-center field, but Park made a great throw to right fielder Gun-woo Park at second base. The play was initially ruled safe, but was overturned as an out after video review. NC shortstop Kim Joo-won stood out for not losing focus and making the tag. Again, Shin Min-jae singled to left, but Kim Min-sung fouled out to third and Austin grounded out to shortstop. In the second inning, the leadoff hitter, Oh Ji-hwan, walked to load the bases before Moon Bo-kyung hit a single down the left field line. However, Park Dong-won struck out swinging and Moon Sung-joo grounded out to second base to end the inning. In the third, leadoff hitter Park Hae-min led off with an infield single, but Hong Chang-ki, Shin Min-jae, and Kim Min-sung were all stranded.

LG’s starting pitcher Plutko responded. He got off to a rough start in the first inning, giving up a leadoff single to Son Ah-seob, but then struck out Park Min-woo on a fly ball to left field and Park Gun-woo on a wild pitch. After a six-pitch battle with Martin, he gave up a walk, but struck out Kwon Hee-dong on a wild pitch to get out of the inning. In the second, he gave up a leadoff double to Seo Ho-cheol over the left-field fence. But he retired Kim Joo-won on an eight-pitch grounder to shortstop and Ahn Jung-yeol on a five-pitch fly to left field. In the third, Plutko gave up another leadoff single to Son Ah-seob. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Park Min-woo, but was thrown out at the plate on the next at-bat by Park Gun-woo. Park walked and Martin singled to right-center to put runners on first and second, but Kwon Hee-dong retired the side on a seven-pitch swinging strikeout.

4~6th inning: 1 run in the 4th inning. LG bats exploded in the 5th inning → NC entertained the fans with a ground home run in the 5th inning.
LG was the first to strike first. 4th inning. No runners on base. Oh Ji-hwan took a four-pitch fastball (147 kilometers) from Tanner on a 1-2 count and launched it over the left field fence for a leadoff solo shot. It was Oh’s third home run of the season. The distance was measured at 110 meters. Tanner, who looked shaky after giving up a walk to Moon Bo-Kyung, induced Park Dong-Won to fly out to center field to end the threat. The bottom of the fourth inning followed. Plutko faced its biggest threat. NC had a chance to load the bases with back-to-back singles by Do Tae-hoon and Seo Ho-cheol and a straight ball by Kim Joo-won. This is where Ahn Jung-yeol came to the plate. Ahn hit a home run against LG the day before. Prior to this game, Ahn was batting .391 (9-for-23) with two home runs and eight RBIs against LG this season. Plutko drove him in with a single to shortstop, scoring only Do Tae-hoon from third. 1-1. Plutko minimized the damage. Son grounded out to first. End of the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, Tanner walked the LG batters. Plutko was nowhere to be seen on the mound. LG replaced the pitcher with Yoo Young-chan. “Due to discomfort in the left adductor (inner thigh muscle), we made the change to protect the player,” an LG official explained. As soon as Yoo took the mound, he gave up a single to Park Min-woo, but retired Park Gun-woo on a fly ball to right field and Martin and Kwon Hee-dong in succession.

In the sixth inning, LG took the lead for good. Tanner was still on the mound. Shin Min-jae led off with a single to right and moved to second on Kim Min-sung’s sacrifice bunt. Austin followed with a clean single to left to bring home Shin (2-1). Oh then followed with a double to right-center to put runners on second and third. That was as far as Tanner would get. Kim Young-gyu took the mound for the second time. The next batter was Moon Bo-kyung. On a 1-2 count, Moon took a four-pitch slider from Kim Young-kyu for a two-run triple down the right field line to make it 4-1. She then scored on Park Dong-won’s grounder to third base to make it 5-1. Moon Sung-ju struck out looking. Top of the sixth inning.

However, NC made the home fans go wild in the bottom of the sixth inning with a rare sight. It was a storming grounder. With LG’s third pitcher Baek Seung-hyun on the mound, Do Tae-hoon and Seo Ho-cheol singled to center field. Two outs. The next batter was Kim Joo-won. On a 1-2 pitch count, he took a four-pitch forkball and hit a liner into left field. LG left fielder Moon Sung-joo tried to slide in front of it and make a one-bound catch, but he missed it. The ball rolled into the fence, allowing Kim to steal second base and then third before charging home. Changwon NC Park was in a frenzy. The ball reached home plate with LG’s replay, but Kim’s slide was first. It was an exhilarating ground home run. It was Kim’s third groundball of the season and 93rd of his KBO career. He is now 4th on the all-time list of youngest grounders.
7th to 9th innings (second half): NC’s relentless pursuit against LG’s best team… and the most bizarre ninth inning ever.
In the top of the 7th inning, NC substituted Song Myung-ki for Kim Young-gyu. Song gave up a walk to Hong Chang-ki in the first inning, but induced Shin Min-jae and Kim Min-sung to fly out to center field. In the seventh inning, LG’s pitcher was Ham Deok-ju. It was the continuation of the no-hitter. After a leadoff walk, Park Min-woo singled and Park Gun-woo flied out to center field. Martin struck out looking on a full count. Inning over.

In the top of the eighth, NC removed Song Myung-ki and brought in Ryu Jin-wook. One out later, Oh led off with an infield single in front of the catcher and moved to third on a throwing error by the shortstop when Moon Bo-kyung was hit by a pitch. Kim Joo-won, who was hit on the finger by the pitch, was immediately replaced by Kim Han-byul. An NC official said, “He received bruises on his right index and middle fingers while fielding in the eighth inning, so he was replaced to protect the player. He is being treated with icing.” Park Dong-won then grounded out to the catcher. When NC switched pitchers to Lim Jung-ho, LG responded with pinch-hitter Lee Jae-won, who grounded out to third base.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Kim Jin-sung took the mound and kept the chase alive. The bases were loaded. Do Tae-hoon hit a solo shot over the right field fence. With the count 2-1, he lined a four-pitch fastball (144 kilometers) up the middle perfectly. It was Doh’s fifth home run of the season. However, he was unable to add another run as Seo Ho-cheol grounded out to second and Kim Han-byul struck out.

With the LG batting order retired in order in the top of the 9th, NC’s last offense in the bottom of the 9th. LG’s pitcher was ‘closer’ Ko Woo-seok. The top of the ninth inning was one of the strangest for LG. Kim Hyung-jun, the leadoff hitter, flied out to right field. Son As-seop followed with a grounder to third. Two outs. Park Min-woo reignited the fire with a single to right-center. Park Gun-woo entered the batter’s box. Ko Woo-seok induced Park to ground out to second base. It looked like the game would end with the toss, but suddenly the umpires gathered. It was confirmed that Park Gun-woo’s pitch hit the leg of second base umpire Yoon Sang-won, and an upset was called. According to KBO rules, if a ball that does not touch an infielder hits a runner or umpire, the batter becomes a runner and each runner who must clear the bases advances.
KBO Baseball Rule 5.06, Base Runners, (c) Dead ball, states, “A ball is dead when: “A runner advances one base or returns to his original base. No runner shall be out in the interim,” which states, in part (6), “If a fair ball that does not reach an infielder (including the pitcher) is hit by a runner or umpire in fair territory, or if a fair ball that does not pass an infielder (other than the pitcher) is hit by an umpire – each runner whose base must be cleared by the batter becoming a runner shall advance. “If the ball passes the pitcher and is hit by an umpire standing in the infield, the ball is dead,” the book says.
As a result, Park Min-woo, the first baseman, and Park Gun-woo, the batter, advanced, and the game resumed with runners on first and second base. It was a moment when an ordinary ground ball was disguised as an infield hit.

This was followed by an unfortunate moment for LG. Martin’s throw to shortstop Oh Ji-hwan bounced in front of the outfielder and fell into the outfield, allowing Park Min-woo to score from second base. The score was now 5-4, a one-run deficit. NC continued with runners on second and third. The next batter was Kwon Hee-dong. He faced Go Woo-seok on a full count. Six pitches later. Hee-dong Kwon smashed a 156-kilometer fastball right down the middle of the plate and over the left field fence for a grand slam (his fifth home run of the season, traveling 120 meters) to seal the 7-5 victory.
After the game, ‘Seung-Jang’ Kang said, “Today, I think the whole team and the fans who came to the ballpark to support us were able to win with their desire to win and not give up until the end. Congratulations to Kwon Hee-dong for his game-winning home run. We will prepare well to continue our winning streak tomorrow.”

Kwon Hee-dong, who hit the game-winning shot, said, “It’s a great win in the middle of the standings. In the bottom of the ninth inning, I felt like the momentum of the game was in our favor, but Go Woo-seok’s ball was so good that I thought I could just make an in-play hit. I had a lot of chances in the game today, but I couldn’t capitalize and the team made it difficult for me. It feels good to get it done in the last at-bat. The moment I hit it, the ball had a good trajectory and I knew it was a home run,” he said, expressing his happiness. “I would like to thank the fans for their support until the end of the game. I will do my best in each game,” he vowed. 먹튀검증

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