The NC Dinos secured their second straight win and clinched the winning series with a thrilling late-game victory over the top-ranked LG Twins.
NC won 7-5 at home against LG in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on June 26 at Changwon NC Park. With the win, NC improved its record to 54-2-49 on the season, while LG, which lost its second straight game, fell to 65-2-40.
LG starting lineup: 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), Park Hae-min (center fielder).
NC Starting Lineup: Son Asub (designated hitter), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Geon-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), Ahn Jung-yeol (catcher)
Tied at 0-0, the teams traded runs in the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, with the bases loaded, Oh took a 147 mph fastball from Tanner Tully for a solo home run over the left field fence. It was Oh’s third home run of the season and gave LG a 1-0 lead.
However, NC evened the score in the bottom of the fourth inning. After back-to-back singles by Do Tae-hoon and Seo Ho-cheol, Kim Joo-won drew a straight bunt to load the bases for NC, and Ahn Jung-yeol singled home Do Tae-hoon to tie the game at 1-1. With runners on second and third, Son Ah-seob was retired on a grounder to end the threat.
In the top of the sixth inning, LG scored four runs to overtake NC. Shin Min-jae led off with a single to right, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kim Min-sung, and came home on Austin Dean’s single to left. With the score 2-1, LG loaded the bases on a double by Oh Ji-hwan and a triple by Moon Bo-kyung against reliever Kim Young-gyu. Moon scored on Park Dong-won’s grounder to make the score 5-1.
NC got one run back in the bottom of the sixth inning on a ground home run by Kim Joo-won. Facing LG’s Baek Seung-hyun with the bases loaded, Kim hit a four-pitch forkball from Baek Seung-hyun that slipped behind the left-field fence and then ran all the way home to score a run of his own, bringing the score to 5-2, 3. The 93rd ground home run in KBO history.
With the LG batters stuck on the NC mound, NC added one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Against Kim Jin-sung, Do Tae-hoon hit a solo home run over the right field fence. Do’s fifth home run of the season. The home run narrowed the score to 3-5, two runs, and NC started the top of the ninth with a scoreless inning. Park Hae-min grounded out to second base, Hong Chang-ki flied out to center field, and Shin Min-jae grounded out to shortstop.
The final offense in the bottom of the ninth. Against LG closer Ko Woo-seok, Kim Hyung-joon singled to right field and Son Ah-seop grounded out to third base. However, Park Min-woo kept the spark alive by hitting a single to center field. Then, Park Gun-woo’s at-bat became an ordinary ground ball and the game seemed to be over, but suddenly the umpires gathered.
The umpires confirmed that Park Gun-woo’s pitch hit the leg of Yoon Sang-won, the second base umpire, and called for an upset. According to KBO rules, if a ball that does not touch a fielder is hit by an umpire, the batter becomes a runner and each runner who needs to clear a base advances. In the end, Park’s hit was an infield single, advancing Park Min-woo to first base and Park Gun-woo to second base.
Four batters later, Martin singled up the middle to bring home Park Min-woo and cut the NC lead to 4-5. With runners on first and third and a full count against Ko Woo-seok, Kwon Hee-dong hit a six-pitch 152 km/h fastball for a three-run homer to left field. That swing ended the game. 안전놀이터
LG starter Adam Plutko was pulled after four innings and one run, followed by Yoo Young-chan (one run), Baek Seung-hyun (one run), Ham Deok-joo (one run), Kim Jin-sung (one run), and Ko Woo-seok (four runs in ⅔ innings). Ham Deok-ju and Kim Jin-sung picked up holds, but Go Woo-seok took the loss.
NC starter Tanner left the mound after giving up four runs in 5⅓ innings, followed by Kim Young-gyu with one run in ⅔ innings before Song Myung-ki (1 inning), Ryu Jin-wook (⅔ innings), and Lim Jung-ho (1⅓ innings) held the LG bats scoreless to set the stage for the final victory. Lim picked up his third win of the season.