Facing a fourth straight loss, SSG Landers shortstop Park Sung-ho rescued the team and vowed to “keep the team in second place before the Hangzhou Asian Games.”
Park hit a come-from-behind two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lead the SSG Landers to a 6-5 victory over the KT Wiz at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday afternoon. Park, who batted fifth and went hitless in four at-bats until the seventh inning, delivered the decisive blow in the bottom of the game.
His opponent was KT’s slugger Kim Jae-yoon. Park had faced Kim Jae-yoon three times this season, going hitless with one strikeout. After the game, he explained, “I entered the batter’s box with the confidence that it was time for me to get a hit,” and “I forgot about the previous results and focused on hitting the ball accurately.”스포츠토토
However, Kim Jae-yoon had pitched three innings against SSG the previous day, starting in the top of the ninth and lasting until the 11th. After throwing 31 pitches, he went into a streak. “I told him earlier that his power had dropped, but I didn’t feel it at all,” Park said, emphasizing, “I focused on his fastball because it was late in the game, and it worked.”
Park, who was hitting .305 with three home runs last month, had struggled in September, hitting just .179 before this game. “I felt good for no reason, but as soon as September came, it didn’t work out,” he said. “I can’t say that I have any physical problems. But it’s just an excuse because every player has the same season.”
SSG also suffered two three-game losing streaks this month, with their starting lineup collapsing. The team, which started the season in third place, dropped to fifth. “It’s frustrating because our batting has ups and downs. It’s hard when we don’t get a hit when we need one,” said Park. “We’ve been losing a lot lately, so our mood has been down. We’ve been playing with a new mindset to win, and it’s frustrating that it didn’t work out. Hopefully, today’s win will help us rebound.”
As for his batting average dropping from .298 last season to .268 this year, and his home runs increasing from two to nine, he said, “That was not my intention at all. But my batting average is dropping and I’m getting a lot of home runs, which is frustrating. I will train for accurate hitting.”
Park, who was included in the final roster for the Asian Games, will begin his call-up training schedule on March 23. He will play nine games for the SSG before joining the national team. “I’m looking at a higher ranking,” he said, “and I want to contribute to winning a lot of games in the remaining period. I’ll try to get the team to the second or third place before I go.”