Two-RBI double in the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead.
“I’m glad I was able to finish the game cold”
(Kiwoom Heroes), who led Ryu Joong-il’s team to victory over Hong Kong, was relieved to end the
game with a cold start as he expressed his frustration with the batting order.
South Korea’s baseball team
Led by Ryu Jung-il, defeated Hong Kong 10-0 in eight innings in the first game of their Group B
baseball tournament at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Center in Zhejiang, China on Monday.
Korea, ranked fourth in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), was
expected to take care of business against the 45th-ranked Hong Kong, but the bats went silent in
their chances, making the game difficult throughout.
They struggled to find their timing against Hong Kong pitchers, whose pitches were slower than Korean pitchers.
The bats came alive in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring seven runs to secure the cold game victory.
Captain Kim Hye-sung led off the day, going 3-for-6 with a home run, three RBIs, and one run scored.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and a 1-0 lead, he hit a two-run double to revitalize the Korean bats.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, with a 9-0 lead, she hit another RBI single to complete the cold
game victory. If Kim hadn’t gotten the RBI two batters later, the cold game victory would have been in jeopardy.
After the game, Kim said, “It’s an excuse that the opposing pitcher had a slow fastball. It’s the same
baseball player, and it was difficult because we didn’t get the timing right,” she said. “I think we all
thought we had to hit it in a favorable count because the slow ball doesn’t mean we can handle it in
an unfavorable count. When I got into my zone, I took a swing and it didn’t work out.”
“I think I was nervous because it was my first international match, so I was nervous no matter who
my opponent was. As I played, I relaxed, and my timing was right for the slower pitches of the other
pitcher, so I got a good result in the eighth inning.”
As Hong Kong alternated between right-handed, left-handed, and sidearm pitchers on the mound,
Kim Hye-sung said, “I think it’s harder when you change pitchers like that than when you keep
getting the same type. I think it was a good strategy by the Hong Kong coach.”
Who hit the game-winning hit in the eighth inning, said, “I really wanted to win the cold game, so I
focused more on my at-bat in the eighth inning. It makes a big difference in how you feel in a game
like this, whether you win the cold game or not.” “I’m glad we finished the game with a cold game, even though it was late,” she said.
The Hong Kong game was a warm-up for South Korea, which is looking to win its fourth consecutive Asian Games following Guangzhou in 2010, Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
South Korea will face arch-rivals Chinese Taipei on Feb. 2. A win against Chinese Taipei is a must if they want to ease their way to the final.
The Chinese Taipei mound is filled with young, hard-throwing pitchers.
After seeing the slower pitches of Hong Kong’s pitchers earlier in the day, Korean batters might have a hard time dealing with Taiwanese pitchers.
However, Kim Hye-sung said,
“It’s a different game, and tomorrow is tomorrow’s game,” and emphasized that “today’s game won’t affect us. We have to be fresh tomorrow.”