The Lotte Giants won their home opener on Friday, going into extra innings against the SK Wyverns. A late start from the Giants, which has been a trend in their games lately, allowed the team to tie up a high scoring game and end it in the 10th inning.
A wild pitch was the deciding factor in the end, with An Chi-hong coming in from third to close the game out with a score of 9-8 in the 10th inning.
The win came without a crowd at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea. Four games into the season, the Giants have won all of their games thus far.
A Quick Start For Wyverns
Wyverns first got on the board in the second inning with a series of hits bringing in runs. It started with a hit to the left-center gap from Jung Hyun who brought home Kim Chang-pyung.
Hyun was brought in by Jeong Jin-gi, and a hit from Ko Jong-wook scored Jeong in for the third run, putting the team up 3-0 in total.
A solo homerun by Giants second baseman An Chi-hong in the bottom of the third shortened the lead to two.
Further Extending The Lead
Three-straight innings saw the Wyverns extend their lead by one run each time. In the fourth, Jeong Jin-gi got his second RBI of the game, bringing in Kim Chang-pyung.
The fifth inning saw Wyverns right fielder Han Dong-min get his third homerun of the year, this time being a solo shot to make the score 5-1.
Veteran Giants starter Noh Kyung-eun was pulled after the fifth inning, giving up nine hits and five runs.
A sacrifice fly from Jeong Jin-gi in the sixth brought in another run for the Wyverns.
Giants Close Gap, Tie Game
The bats of the Giants picked back up in the sixth, with a solo homerun from Jeon Jun-woo kicking off a rally.
Later that inning, Lee Dae-ho hit a ball into right field, allowing Son Ah-seop to make the trek from first all the way to home.
A hit from Dixon Machado brought home the third run of the inning for the Giants. Wyverns starter Moon Seung-won, who was starting his seventh year for the team, was pulled before the fifth ended. He finished with seven strikeouts, giving up nine hits and four runs.
After the Giants brought in reliever Park Shi-young, the seventh inning started with Wyverns third baseman Choi Jeong hitting a solo homerun into center. Later that inning, Jamie Romak was brought home off of a sacrifice fly from Han, bringing the game to a score of 8-4 for the Wyverns.
The Giants had another three-run inning in the seventh, starting with a sacrifice fly from Son bringing in Min. Only a pitch later, Lee took a ball into the right field grandstands for a two-run homerun, limiting the Wyverns to only one run.
Finally catching back up to the Wyverns in the eighth inning, Giants shortstop Dixon Machado hit his second homerun of the season.
Extra Innings Prove Successful For Giants
After a scoreless ninth, the game went into extra innings. Capitalizing on a wild pitch, An Chi-hong came home from third base and ended the game.
Kim Joo-han, who pitched in the 10th inning was given his first loss of the year. In the 2019 season, Joo-han appeared in 11 games for the Wyverns, finishing with an 5.25 ERA.
Koo Seung-min, a Giants reliever who pitched the 10th inning was awarded the win for the game, pitching a strikeout and leaving the inning without allowing a hit.
The second game in the three-game home series kicks off tomorrow at 5:00PM KST (4:00AM EDT), however, an early forecast of Busan predicts rain affecting the game.
Around The KBO
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Lead by Choi Chae-heung, a strong pitching performance from the Samsung Lions allowed the team to get a 5-0 shutout win against the Kia Tigers. The win is the first for the Lions this season.
A high-scoring matchup in favour of the KT Wiz quickly put a win out of the picture for the hosting Doosan Bears. The Wiz, who got swept in their home series with the Giants, walked away from this game with a 12-3 win.
In a real batter’s game, the home NC Dinos got a 13-5 win over the LG Twins. Along with the Giants, the Dinos are one of the only two teams that remain undefeated at 4-0.