“It’s too early to start thinking about the postseason, so we’ll do our best in every game (remaining) so we can start this fall on a higher note.”
Despite leading the Doosan Bears into fall baseball, Kang Seung-ho was not satisfied.
Doosan won a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the LG Twins of the 2023 KBO on Thursday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. With the win, Doosan, which has won three straight, improved to 74 wins, two ties and 65 points, punching its ticket to the postseason over the sixth-place KIA Tigers (71 wins, two ties and 69 points) regardless of the outcome of the remaining games.
Kang Seung-ho’s performance was a standout. Starting in the No. 7 spot and batting second, he went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, including the game-winning hit.
Kang Seung-ho’s bat was hot from the start. With the score tied at 0-0 in the top of the second inning, he took advantage of left-hander Kim Yun-sik’s 123-kilometer changeup and produced a hard hit to the shortstop. It turned into an infield hit, and Kang Seung-ho singled to center field. However, he was unable to steal second base on the next play.
In the top of the fifth inning, Kang Seung-ho showed off his highly sensitive bat with a single to right against LG right-hander Lee Jung-yong. With the score 1-1, he laid down a solid sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second. After moving to third on Kang’s sacrifice, Kim Tae-geun eventually came home on a squeeze bunt by Kim Jae-ho.
The highlight came in the top of the ninth inning, when the score was still tied at 2-2. With the bases loaded and two outs, Kim lined a four-pitch, 134-kilometer slider from side-arm bullpen reliever Jung Woo-young for an RBI single to right. The hit proved to be the game-winner as Doosan ended the game without allowing a run in the bottom of the ninth.
“As a professional player, it’s natural to play every game, but today’s game was more meaningful because it was the game that clinched our spot in the postseason,” said Kang Seung-ho with a bright smile.
Selected by LG with the third overall pick in the first round in 2013, Kang Seung-ho went on to play for the SK Wyverns (now the SSG Landers) and has been with Doosan since the 2021 season. Including this day, he has a career batting average of .252 (1661-for-418) with 226 RBIs and 34 home runs in 557 games.
He was especially strong in the Fall League, where Doosan is headed. In 18 career postseason games, Kang is batting .306 (19-for-62) with two home runs and 13 RBIs.
“Obviously, the postseason is a lot more intense than the regular season. (But) at least for me, I think that tension has been used in a good way, not 먹튀검증 as a poison,” he said, explaining the secret: “I think I’m more focused because there are a lot of fans who come and cheer nonstop.”
Doosan’s battle for the top spot is far from over. Doosan will now battle the SSG Landers (74 wins, 3 draws, and 65 losses) and the NC Dinos (74 wins, 2 draws, and 65 losses) for third place.
Kang Seung-ho said, “It’s still early to think about the postseason. The results of the remaining three regular season games will determine the starting point of the fall,” he said, adding, “We will do our best in every game and welcome this fall in a higher position.”