The KT Wiz have escaped the cliff. After dropping Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs against the NC Dinos at their home stadium in Suwon, KT was on the brink of elimination, but they turned things around with back-to-back wins in Games 3 and 4 away in Changwon. KT now travels back to Suwon for the final game of the series with a ticket to the Korean Series on the line.
It was a completely different story from Game 1 and Game 2. There were no mistakes from the veterans, and the hitters came out in droves. The bats came alive. They hit five home runs and scored 14 runs in the two games. The mound, which had been struggling after giving up the first run each time, was a different story. Six innings of basic, no-hit, no-run baseball dominated the opposition. It was a return to form for the Steelers, who climbed from last place to second place in the regular season.
As captain Park Kyung-soo said, “We are stronger when we are in crisis.” KT survived the cliffhanger. In particular, Park’s hitting in the third inning and William Cuevas’ effort in the fourth seemed to recreate the emotion of the first-place game against the Samsung Lions in 2021.
The veteran’s diving catch was the same as two years ago.
Game 3 was all about KT’s focus. The veteran infielders, who were embarrassed by back-to-back errors in Games 1 and 2, played a solid game and helped their team to victory. The 39-year-old Park made a diving catch in the seventh inning. He caught the leadoff hitter to take the pressure off the pitcher. Park then roared as he slammed his glove.
It was reminiscent of the first-place game two years ago, when KT finished with the same winning percentage as Samsung and played an extra “first-place game” after the season ended. With the regular season title and a direct ticket to the Korean Series on the line, the game was decided by a single point. Once again, Park Kyung-soo’s hitting was crucial. In the bottom of the ninth inning with a 1-0 lead, Park made a diving catch on a hit by leadoff hitter Koo Ja-rook to stop the tide. Even then, Park kept the team’s spirits high with his glove. 무지개토토
After the game, Park said, “I looked great and everyone complimented me on it, but when you make a play like that, it boosts team morale. It feels good to be the eldest member of the team and contribute a little bit.” When asked by a reporter if he remembered the first-place game two years ago, he laughed and said, “The moment I hit the glove, I felt a thrilling feeling, so I did it without realizing it. It was embarrassing but good.”
Park said, “Currently, I’m being put into the game to strengthen the team’s defense. I’m playing with the idea that I shouldn’t make any mistakes,” Park said. And just like that, he put up an ironclad defense even at his tender age, giving his team a precious three-point victory.