A pinch-hitter changed the game with a home run in a moment when the team was not sure of victory. Doosan Bears infielder Park Joon-young played the role of “star supporting player” in the team’s five-game winning streak.

Doosan extended its winning streak to five games with an 8-6 victory over the KIA Tigers in the 13th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Friday, improving to 62-1, 57 (.521). The gap between them and Kia, who have dropped to fifth place, has completely disappeared, and depending on the outcome of the 16th game, Doosan could take over fifth place.

The entire game was dominated by infielder Kang Seung-ho, who recorded the 30th cycling hit in KBO history, and the bullpen’s no-hit relay of Lee Young-ha, Kim Kang-ryul, Kim Myung-shin, and Jung Chul-won. But it was Park Jun-young who stunned the opposition late in the game.

Park was called up from the bench in the top of the eighth inning. Doosan head coach Lee Seung-yeop sent him to pinch-hit for leadoff hitter Cho Yoo-hyun. The decision was made in light of the fact that left-hander Choi Ji-min was on the mound instead of “submarine pitcher” Lim Ki-young.

Eager to fulfill his duties as a pinch-hitter, Park pulled a three-pitch changeup from Choi Ji-min with the count 0-2, and the ball sailed over the left field fence. It was Park’s first home run in three days since he hit one against the Jamsil Hanwha Eagles on Dec. 12, and his first pinch-hit home run since his professional debut. It tied the game at 6-6 and kept the team’s hopes of winning alive. 바카라사이트

Before the end of the game, Park’s chance came again in the top of the ninth inning with two outs. Jang Hyun-sik was on the mound in place of Jung Hae-young after the previous batter, Kim In-tae, had hit a pushing double to make it 7-6. Park faced a 1-2 pitch count and cut the fourth pitch, then the fifth and sixth pitches in a row, then endured the seventh pitch, and finally the eighth pitch, a slider.

Going into the bottom of the ninth with a one-run deficit, Doosan was far from assured of victory, but Park’s performance helped put their minds at ease. Reliever Chung Chul-won, who came in to close out the game, also pitched with a lighter heart.

Park Jun-young’s presence on defense also shined. Playing shortstop, he made a sliding catch on a tricky ground ball hit by the leadoff hitter Kim Tae-gun in the bottom of the ninth inning and then quickly threw the ball to first base for the final out. It was not an easy defense, given the bounds and movement.

After struggling last month, Park has picked up right where he left off, batting .357 with five doubles, two home runs, three RBIs and two walks in 14 at-bats this month. He’s also been valuable on defense. While he’s not getting the starting nod every day, Park is doing what he’s asked of him and fulfilling his manager’s expectations perfectly.

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