The nightmare of international competition is finally over. Kang Baek-ho, the ‘national genius’, and Ko Woo-seok, the ‘national closer’, won gold for the Korean baseball team at the Hangzhou Asian Games. It was a moment that washed away the disappointment of Tokyo 2020 and the WBC 2023.
On October 7, the South Korean team defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the tournament final at Xiaoxing Baseball Stadium in Hangzhou, China.
South Korea got on the board first in the second inning when leadoff hitter Moon Bo-kyung doubled and was hit by a pitch. Kang Baek-ho grounded out to third, but South Korea scored its first run on Kim Joo-won’s sacrifice fly to left field.
Kim then singled to left and Kim Sung-yoon doubled to put runners on second and third with one out before a wild pitch brought in a valuable insurance run. In the top of the second inning, the Koreans were fortunate to have their pitcher Lin Yumin’s fastball shaken by a heavy rainstorm.
In the top of the sixth inning, South Korea had runners on first and second with a leadoff walk by Noh Si-hwan and a sacrifice bunt by Moon Bo-kyung. Kang Baek-ho followed with a single to left to put runners on first and third, but Kim Joo-won and Kim Hyung-joon struck out in succession to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Moon Dong-joo hit a double behind the right-field fence off Chong Jong-zer. However, Moon roared back with back-to-back swinging strikes to end his outing with six innings of three-hit, seven-strikeout ball.
The Korean bench turned to the bullpen in the seventh inning. Choi Ji-min pitched the bottom of the seventh and Park Young-hyun pitched a scoreless eighth to keep Korea one step closer to the gold medal.
The final threat came in the bottom of the ninth when closer Go Woo-seok came on. After getting the leadoff batter to ground out to first base, he gave up back-to-back hits. A home run would have been a shocking end to the game, but he induced the next batter to hit a dramatic double play to end the game.
After the game, Kang and Go celebrated with their teammates, and the gold medal meant a lot to both of them. Both Kang Baek-ho and Ko Woo-seok were very upset with their team’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics and WBC. Kang Baek-ho suffered from panic disorder due to the publicity surrounding the Jurusa controversy at the WBC. Ko Woo-seok also had to try to redeem himself after he was forced to withdraw from the WBC due to back pain.
Both of these athletes were faced with even more responsibility and pressure4 at the Asian Games. Kang Baek-ho struggled in the early stages of the tournament, but he gradually found his bat and hit the game-winning home run against China to help his team reach the final. Ko Woo-seok was hit with a heartbreaking extra-base hit against Chinese Taipei in the group stage, but redeemed himself in the final with a dramatic induced walk-off.
With their international nightmares behind them, the two players will now return to their KBO clubs and prepare for the postseason. “Go Woo-seok and Jung Woo-young will join the team immediately after returning from the Asian Games and continue to pitch,” said LG Twins manager Yeom Kyung-yeop, whose team has already clinched the regular season title. For Go, who will be the closer for the Korean Series, the Asian Games gold medal will give him a boost heading into the postseason.토토사이트
Kang Baek-ho will also return to the postseason with KT WIZ, who are in second place in the league and in a strong position to make the playoffs. KT will also have a huge weapon if Kang’s bounce-back from the Asian Games carries over into the postseason. If KT makes the playoffs and advances to the Korean Series, we could see a matchup between Kang Baek-ho and Go Woo-seok, who have been together for years on the national team. It will be interesting to see how these players perform in fall baseball after returning from the gold medal game.