The Doosan Bears have qualified for fall baseball for the first time in two years. Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop led the team to the postseason in his first year in charge.
Doosan won the 15th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the LG Twins 3-2 on Thursday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium. The fifth-place Doosan finished the season with 74 wins, 65 losses and two ties, tied for fourth place with the NC Dinos (74 wins, 65 losses and two ties). Doosan has secured at least fifth place regardless of the outcome of their remaining games, and will continue to fight to enter the postseason in a higher position in their remaining three games.
Doosan finished last year in ninth place (60 wins, 82 losses, and 2 draws), the lowest ranking in the franchise’s history, and was eliminated from fall baseball for the first time in seven years since 2014. It was also a blow to their pride, as they were the first KBO club to reach the Korean Series seven years in a row from 2015 to 2021.
In an effort to shake things up, Doosan parted ways with former manager Kim Tae-hyung, who led Doosan through its golden era, and hired Lee Seung-yeop, hoping that he would bring a new wind to the team. Lee was labeled a “rookie” throughout the season as he took the helm without any coaching experience, but he took a step forward as a leader by leading the team to the postseason in his first year.
After the game, Lee said, “The fans are the reason we get to play fall baseball. From the first game on opening day to today (Thursday), we have never forgotten how much they have supported us. It gave our coaches and players a lot of energy. We can’t thank them enough for that,” he said of the postseason run.
“For the rest of the games, if our players continue to play the way they’ve been playing, I think we’ll have a great outcome. We will do our best to win every game as a bench and as a team.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair. Doosan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Kang Seung-ho singled to center field with two outs, but starter Brandon Waddell gave up a solo shot to left field to Austin Dean in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1.
In the top of the seventh inning, it looked like they would take the lead with two successful bunt attempts. With no outs, Kang Seung-ho laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and third, and veteran Kim Jae-ho scored on a squeeze bunt to make it 2-1.
However, Jeong Chul-won, who came on in the bottom of the eighth, gave up a slider to Lee Jae-won one out later, making it a 2-2 game again. Brandon had to settle for the win despite throwing seven innings and 94 pitches, allowing four hits (one home run) and one walk while striking out seven.
In the top of the ninth, Kang Seung-ho delivered the game-winning hit. With the bases loaded and two outs, he lined a single to right field off Jeong Woo-young to give Korea a 3-2 lead. After Kim Kang-ryul put runners on first and second in the bottom 토토사이트 of the ninth, Kim Myung-shin came on to save the day. Kim induced three consecutive fly outs to Austin, Oh Ji-hwan, and Moon Bo-kyung to close out the game. Kim earned his first career save.
“We were able to win today thanks to the collective effort of all the players, including Kim Myung-shin, who got his first save, and Kang Seung-ho, who hit the game-winning hit,” said Lee, who vowed to do his best in the remaining three games of the regular season to finish the season in a higher position.