Doosan veteran shortstop Kim Jae-ho hit the game-winning안전놀이터 hit for the first time in three years.
The Doosan Bears won their fifth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Samsung Lions 4-3 in 11 extra innings at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Friday. The result avenged the previous day’s loss and completed a three-game midweek sweep. 22 wins, 1 tie, 20 losses on the season.
The game was tied at 3-3 in the 11th inning. Veteran Kim Jae-ho came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit an exhilarating single to left off Samsung’s Hong Jung-woo. After drawing a favorable 2B-1S count, he expertly took a four-pitch fastball to record his fourth career grand slam in three years, dating back to June 6, 2020, against Jamsil KIA. Kim Jae-ho started at shortstop in the No. 9 spot and showed off his veteran credentials, going 2-for-3 with the game-winning hit, one RBI, one walk and one run scored.
After the game, Kim Jae-ho said, “When I saw the foul fly, I knew I had a chance, and I hoped it would come. “I wanted to show it, and I wanted it to come. I wanted to raise my self-esteem a lot because my self-esteem kept dropping, so it was a good time to go to the second team,” he said.
Refining his offense in the second team was the driving force behind his finish. In six games in the Futures League, Kim batted .355 with one home run and three RBIs. “I knew that to be competitive, I had to do some offense as well as defense. I couldn’t play much in the first team, so I played a lot in the second team and had a good time discussing with the manager and coach how to find a balance.”
The veteran’s performance brought a bright smile to his manager’s face as he celebrated the victory. Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Kim Jae-ho, the best hitter in the team, gave us a valuable win. Both his aiming and hitting were perfect.”