The NC Dinos snapped a four-game losing streak for the Lotte Giants in an 11th-inning thriller.
The NC Dinos battled to a 6-3 victory in the 11th inning of their regular season game against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 KBO Baseball League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 1. With the win, NC snapped a three-game losing streak and shook off its recent poor form.
NC finished the season with 44 wins, one draw, and 42 losses for a winning percentage of 0.512, just behind KT Wiz in fourth place. Lotte, on the other hand, continued their recent poor run of four straight losses and remained in seventh place with 41 wins and 46 losses on the season.
Lotte scored three runs in the third inning to take the lead, but NC scored two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to tie the game. The game went into extra innings as both teams continued to miss chances. NC scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning to take a valuable victory after a hard-fought battle on a hot summer day.
At the plate, Park Gun-woo went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, one RBI, one walk, and five strikeouts, including a triple and the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning. He had a couple lucky doubles, but overall, he showed off his power and ability to get on base, and he had the best day of his career in the top of the 11th inning, leading off with a double and coming home on Yoon’s game-winning hit.
In addition to Park Gun-woo, NC had five other batters with hits, including a multi-hit performance by Son As-seop.
The bullpen was also outstanding. After starter Song Myung-ki was pulled after six innings and three runs, the NC bullpen combined for five scoreless innings. Kim Young-gyu (1 inning), Ryu Jin-wook (2 innings), Lim Jung-ho (1 inning), and Lee Yong-chan (1 inning) did their part.
In the first inning, Lotte took the lead. In the bottom of the third inning, Kim Min-seok singled and stole second base. Park Seung-wook then singled to right to put runners on first and third, and the next batter, Son Sung-bin, singled to right-center to take the lead.
A sacrifice bunt by Ahn Kwon-soo put runners on first and third, and while Goodrum was retired on a wild pitch, Jeong Hoon hit a two-run double to left field to make it 3-0.
That’s how Lotte took the early lead in the game, but starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson faltered after the middle innings. The tragedy began in the top of the fourth inning when Ahn Kwon-soo, Lotte’s right fielder, hit a ball into the gap in right field, allowing Park Gun-woo to steal second base. Although it was a double, it was effectively an error.
In the bottom of the inning, NC got a Jason Martin single followed by back-to-back singles from Kwon Hee-dong and Seo Ho-cheol to cut the deficit to 2-3. The next batter, Do Tae-hoon, struck out swinging and Park Se-hyuk was retired on a grounder to the second baseman, but a golden opportunity remained.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Park Min-woo drew a walk to load the bases. Park Gun-woo followed with a deep, game-tying double over the center field fence to bring home Park Min-woo. An invaluable hit that tied the score at 3-3.
NC had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh inning as Park Se-hyuk led off with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt and an infield single by Son As-seob, but Park Min-woo retired Lotte reliever Kim Sang-soo.
On the other hand, the Lotte bats, which were hot in 토토 the early innings, went cold in the middle of the game. From the end of the fifth inning to the end of the eighth inning, they were helpless as they were retired in order in four consecutive innings.
With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Jeong Hoon, who led off the inning with a single, reached on a fielder’s choice. However, Jeon Jun-woo flied out to right field and Yoon Dong-hee flied out to shortstop to end the inning.
NC took the lead in the bullpen battle. After Choi Jun-yong in the eighth, Lotte brought in closer Kim Won-joong in the ninth, who pitched two scoreless innings until the 10th.
However, in the end, Kim Won-joong was sent down and Jin Seung-hyun was brought in to start the extra inning. NC’s Park Gun-woo led off the inning with a double to left-center field. Martin retired the side on three pitches, but Kwon Hee-dong drew an 11-pitch walk to load the bases. Seo Ho-cheol then walked to load the bases, but Yoon Hyung-joon delivered the game-winning hit to bring home Park Gun-woo.
After scoring one run each on Park Se-hyuk’s sacrifice fly to center field and Kim Joo-won’s RBI single, NC scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning to take a 6-3 lead. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Lotte was unable to get a follow-up hit after Lee Jung-geun’s single, and the game ended in favor of NC.