South Korea National Baseball Team’s Noh Si-hwan (22-Hanwha Eagles) showed off his problem-solving skills as the national team’s No. 4 hitter.
Noh batted fourth and played third base in South Korea’s 2-0 win over Japan in the first game of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games Baseball Super Round at the Shaoxing Baseball Softball Sports Center in Zhejiang, China on Friday.
All of South Korea’s runs on the day came off the bat of Noh Si-hwan.
After breaking a 0-0 tie in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field that put runners on first and third, Noh drove in the winning run with a double to left field in the eighth inning.
After the game, Noh said, “When I struck out in my first scoring opportunity (runners on first and third with no outs in the fourth inning), I thought I was being too timid. I tried to be bold and do what I’m used to doing at the plate, and it paid off.”
Despite the new win, the Korean bats struggled against Japanese starter Shuichiro Kyo. While Japan’s team is comprised of players from a social baseball (unemployed) team, the pitcher is a member of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
On this day, South Korea was held scoreless until the fifth inning. In 5⅔ innings, she gave up four hits, three walks, and struck out eight.
“It was a good pitcher coming to Korea. I had a tough game because the starting pitcher’s pitches were good,” said a tongue-in-cheek Noh, who added, “The opponent’s pitches were better than when I analyzed the power. I thought it was tough, but I tried to fight through it at the plate and got hits and RBIs.”
[XIAOXING=News] KO Seung-min (R) celebrates after hitting a one-run single with two outs in the eighth inning during the baseball super round match between South Korea and Japan at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Baseball and Softball Sports Center Baseball Stadium in Xiaoxing, China, on Oct. 5. 2023.10.05. firstname.lastname@example.org
For Noh,온라인카지노 who turned pro after being selected by Hanwha with the third overall pick in the second round of the 2019 KBO First-Year Player Draft, 2023 is a special year.
He hit 31 home runs in the KBO this year, setting a new single-season record and leading the league in home runs. With his first tournament, he has surpassed his “prospect” status to become the KBO’s leading hitter.
“I think it will be memorable to wear the national uniform in an international tournament and play such an important role in the Korea-Japan game,” Noh smiled.
The Korean baseball team will be looking to win their fourth straight Asian Games title.
They got off to a rocky start with a loss to Chinese Taipei in the group stage, but kept their hopes alive with a win over Japan in the first game of the Super Round.
To punch their ticket to the final, they’ll need to win against China on Saturday.
‘Baseball’s fringe’ China is a formidable opponent, having upset Japan 1-0 in the group stage of the tournament.
“Just like how China beat Japan, I don’t really know baseball. We’ll go out there tomorrow thinking it’s the final,” said Noh, who vowed to work hard and not take anything for granted.
The Korean bats have struggled in the tournament, creating chances but failing to capitalize on them. “It’s an important game, and I think every game is a final, so when you get a chance, it puts pressure on any batsman,” said Noh. “He’s a really good batsman, a good player, to overcome that pressure. I hope our players can overcome the pressure and win the game.”