Lotte Giants acting manager Lee Jong-woon had a smile on his face after the performance of his rookies, who had been playing second fiddle to him.
Lotte won the 14th game of the season against SSG Landers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 22, winning 5-2 to end a two-game losing streak.
It was a significant victory for the team, which hasn’t given up on the season yet, but it was especially important because it was a game where the young prospects stood out. Jung Dae-seon, who made his first appearance in the starting lineup after being called up to the first team the day before, went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, while Seo Dong-wook, who came in as a pinch-hitter, went 1-for-1.
The youngsters shined when it mattered most. In the top of the seventh inning, with the score tied at 2-2 and the bases loaded, Jung Dae-sun faced SSG’s “ace” Kim Kwang-hyun. After striking out in his previous two at-bats, Jung hit the ball to the “sweet spot” of the bat. In his third at-bat, he crushed Kim’s changeup to right field for his first career hit.
Seo Dong-wook came in as a pinch hitter to load the bases with one out. Seo Dong-wook, who had appeared in six games before the 22nd, but hadn’t produced a hit, took a changeup against Kim Kwang-hyun and hit a double to left field for his first hit. In a bases-loaded situation created by back-to-back hits by the “rookies,” Lotte took the lead at 3-2 when Yoon Dong-hee scored on a ground ball.
The good work continued after that. With runners on first and second in the top of the eighth inning to make it 4-2, Jung faced SSG’s Ko Hyo-joon again, this time on a forked ball to left field. With Ahn Kwon-soo racing home from second base, Jung collected a multi-hit game and an RBI in his first start.
Acting head coach Lee Jong-woon couldn’t hide a smile when asked about the ‘rookies’ before the 23rd game. “It felt really good,” he said with a big smile, “Jung Dae-seon and Seo Dong-wook are players I’ve played with in the second team. Jung has a good contact ability and we had high hopes for him. There was talk about his lack of speed, but that wasn’t the case. Seo Dong-wook and Jeong Dae-sun were the mainstays in the second team, and it was great to see them play yesterday.”
Lotte is currently without “Captain” Ahn Chi-hong, who has been suspended from the first team due to a cold. As a result, they are short on second basemen. They plan to give Jung a chance. Lee Jong-woon said, “Jung Dae-sun originally came in as a shortstop, but he seemed more comfortable at second base. We thought it would be better for him to play second base for now, and if he gets better, he can play (other positions). I’ve been practicing at second base in the second team as well,” he explained.메이저사이트
While Jeong’s performance shined, it was also significant that Seo Dong-wook broke his silence after failing to produce a single hit in six games. This is because he could become demoralized if he doesn’t produce results even when given the opportunity. Acting manager Lee Jong-woon said, “Seo Dong-wook is definitely a good player, but he couldn’t hit and then he hit. He’s a very good player, but it must have been hard for him to go up and down without hitting,” he laughed.
Lee Jong-woon added, “Right now, we have lost our main players due to injuries and the Asian Games, so if new players come in and show their abilities, it will inspire other players. And if these players do well, we can become a better team,” he emphasized.