Veteran pitcher emphasizes “don’t lose the fight”; fourth-year outfielder is confident that “third can beat fourth”
“Third place beats fourth place.” SSG Landers outfielder Choi Ji-hoon expressed his determination ahead of the first round of the semifinals.
SSG will host the NC Dinos at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 22 for the first round of the 2023 KBO postseason semifinals. It will be a best-of-five series.
Manager Kim Won-hyung revealed the batting order of Oh Tae-gon (first base), Park Sung-hwan (shortstop), Choi Jung (third base), Guillermo Heredia (left fielder), Han Yoo-seom (designated hitter), Ha Jae-hoon (right fielder), Choi Ji-hoon (center fielder), Kim Sung-hyun (second baseman) and Kim Min-sik (catcher).
The starting pitcher will be foreigner Roenis Elias. Elias went 8-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 22 regular season games this year. Against NC, he was 1-0 with a 7.53 ERA in three games.
“Third place has to beat fourth place,” Choi told the media before the game, showing his determination. Veteran left-hander Ko Hyo-jun, who has a lot of experience in the fall, said, “If we think we can win, we will have a good result. We’re going to think about it and prepare for it.” “What I’ve learned from my experience in the postseason is that ‘chi’ is important. If you lose, it’s crazy.”
Choi Ji-hoon is in his fourth year as a starting center fielder. His confidence was boosted by his performance at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, where he won a gold medal. Veteran Ko Hyo-jun, who made his debut in 2002, has been a stalwart of the SSG this year, 먹튀검증토토사이트 leading the team to a third-place regular season finish. The pitcher has plenty of postseason experience, from the wild card round to the Korean Series.
“The key is how to stop the hitters who hit consistently in the NC,” said Kim Won-hyung. “They hit long balls in the bottom of the order and show good hitting feel. We need to pay attention to connecting to the top of the order.”
“The players were focused in the last place battle at the end of the season, and if we continue to do well, there will be good results,” Kim said.
Meanwhile, Son Asub (designated hitter), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Gun-woo (right field), Martin (center field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Kim Joo-won (shortstop), Seo Ho-cheol (third base), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Do Tae-hoon (first base) are in the batting order.
The starting pitcher is Shin Min-hyuk. In 29 regular season games this year, Shin went 5-5 with a 3.98 ERA. Against SSG, he hasn’t fared so well, going winless in four games with a 6.57 ERA.
Shin Min-hyuk will be making his first appearance in the fall after throwing five scoreless innings against the KIA Tigers on April 17. It was his first postseason appearance since making his professional debut in 2018.
NC is coming off a 14-9 win over the Doosan Bears in the wild-card game at Changwon NC Park on April 19. NC, which finished the regular season in fourth place with one win, met SSG after starting pitcher Tanner Tully fell apart with five runs in four innings and closer Lee Yong-chan struggled with three runs, but the bats came alive.