The NC Dinos won their final home game of the season in front of their second sellout crowd of the season (17,861 seats), solidifying their bid for a direct semifinal berth, and securing at least fourth place with the loss of Doosan, who were also in contention.
NC won its final home game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season against the Samsung Lions 5-3 on Friday at NC Park in Changwon.
With the win, NC, which finished third in the regular season and is aiming for a direct semi-playoff berth, improved its record to 75 wins, 65 losses, and 2 draws. They moved into sole possession of third place with two games remaining in the regular season. Doosan, which was tied for third place before the game, lost to LG to fall to 74-66-2.
For Samsung, starter Won Tae-in finished his final outing of the season with five innings, 110 pitches, seven hits (one home run), one walk, two strikeouts and three runs. Samsung concludes the 2023 season with a record of 61 wins, 82 losses, and one tie.
Samsung’s starting lineup was Kim Ji-chan (second base), Kim Sung-yoon (center field), Koo Ja-uk (designated hitter), Pirela (left field), Kim Hyun-joon (right field), Lee Jae-hyun (shortstop), Ahn Ju-hyung (third base), Lee Sung-kyu (first base), and Kim Jae-seong (catcher). The starting pitcher is Won Tae-in.
NC’s starting lineup was Park Min-woo (second base), Choi Jung-won (center field), Park Gun-woo (designated hitter), Martin (left field), Kwon Hee-dong (right field), Oh Young-soo (first base), Kim Joo-won (shortstop), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Do Tae-hoon (third base).
Samsung Pirella-NC Kim Hyung-joon home run battle
Samsung struck first. In the top of the second inning, leadoff hitter Pirela took a 148-kilometer fastball from NC starter Song Myung-ki and smashed a solo shot to left field. His 16th home run of the season.
NC responded with a home run of their own. In the bottom of the second inning, Kim Joo-won drew a walk. With two on and one out, Kim hit a two-run arch over the left field wall against Won Tae-in, who was on the battery at the Hangzhou Asian Games. On a 1-ball 2-strike, he lifted a 146-kilometer fastball off Won Tae-in. His sixth of the season.
The teams traded runs in the third inning. In the top of the third, Samsung tied the game at 2-2 after a leadoff walk by Kim Jae-sung, a sacrifice bunt by Kim Ji-chan, and a grounder to the second baseman by Kim Sung-yoon. However, NC answered in the bottom of the inning with Park Gun-woo’s double to the top of the right-center field fence. With two outs and three runners on, Martin singled to right field, and Kwon Hee-dong hit a two-run double to center field to regain the lead, 3-2.
Kang In-hwon, Song Myung-ki early ejections → bullpen all-out war for semifinal spot
After securing a spot in the postseason, NC is now aiming to go straight to the semifinals. Before the game, manager Kang Myung-ho said, “I think the last three games will be the most important three games of the year. It’s hard to play at our best because of injuries to our pitchers, so I’m worried about that, but I think the players will be focused on the last three games because they’ve been playing well.” “I think we need to make the most of the power we have and give it our all,” he said, reinforcing his determination to secure third place.
That determination showed in the game. After Song Myung-gi gave up two runs in the top of the third inning, including a wild pitch, the team immediately brought in Lee Jae-hak. With the score tied at 2-2, Samsung’s first baseman Koo Ja-uk was caught stealing to end the inning. NC added a run in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead at 3-2. Lee retired the side in order in the fourth and gave up a single to Lee Sung-gyu in the top of the fifth, but induced Kim Jae-sung to ground into a double play. After two innings of work, Lee came off the mound to face left-hander Kim Ji-chan.
In the fifth inning, they quickly capitalized. With Kim Ji-chan batting in the bottom of the fifth, Lee brought in Kim Young-gyu to pitch. Kim pitched 1⅓ innings of shutout ball until the sixth inning.
NC consolidates to secure third place
During the cleanup period after the end of the fifth inning, the scoreboard showed the results of the batting order. NC Park erupted in cheers as the results showed that Doosan, who are in the race for third place, lost 1-5 to LG.
NC didn’t let up in their pursuit of third place. In the bottom of the sixth inning, they got the extra run they had been waiting for. After missing a chance to put runners on first and third in the fifth inning, NC got runners on first and third in the sixth with Kim Joo-won’s single up the middle, Kim Hyung-joon’s sacrifice bunt, Do Tae-hoon’s single to left, and Park Min-woo’s RBI single to left. It was 4-2.먹튀검증
Ryu Jin-wook, who came on in the seventh, pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks until the top of the eighth, when he was relieved by Lim Jung-ho.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kim Hyung-joon walked, Do Tae-hoon singled to right, and Park Min-woo singled to center to load the bases. Choi Jung-won struck out, but pinch-hitter Park Se-hyuk drew a walk to extend the lead to 5-2.
In the ninth inning, NC gave up a run when Lee Yong-chan came on and gave up an RBI double to Pirela with the bases loaded, but he was able to close out the game and preserve the win without allowing another run. NC then traveled to Gwangju for the final two games of the series.