Choi Won-tae (26-LG Twins), the hero of the ‘Choi Won-tae’ derby, walked off the mound after being the winning pitcher against his hometown team, the Kiwoom Heroes.

Choi Won-tae started against Kiwoom in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on 12 December, his first time facing his hometown team since being traded.

LG and Kiwoom made the trade on the 29th of last month. LG sent infielder Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-kyu, and a first-round pick in the 2024 KBO League Rookie Draft in exchange for Choi Won-tae.메이저사이트

Choi has started two games in an LG uniform. They were against the Doosan Bears (30th of last month) and the Samsung Lions (5th). On the 30th, he faced his hometown team for the first time and faced Kiwoom for the first time in his career.

Choi Won-tae was greeted by his old teammates: Kim Jun-wan (left fielder), Kim Hye-sung (second baseman), Ronnie Dawson (designated hitter), Song Sung-moon (first baseman), Kim Hui-jip (shortstop), Lee Joo-hyung (centre fielder), Lim Byung-wook (right fielder), Kim Tae-jin (third baseman), and Kim Dong-heon (catcher).

Choi Won-tae was shaky, but he didn’t collapse and held off the Kiwoom bats. LG Twins

In the first inning, Choi Won-tae was nervous and something didn’t seem to click. In the top of the first, he walked Kim Hye-sung on a throwing error by the shortstop. Dawson followed with a double down the left field line.

She had some help from her teammates. Kim Hye-sung, who overran Dawson’s double, was caught at third base for the final out. It seemed like a breath of fresh air, but the crisis continued as Song Sung-moon singled with two outs to make it 1-0.

In the top of the second, the team seemed to settle down. He threw a slider and a changeup against Kiwoom’s left-handed hitters and locked them down. He threw a slider to Lee Ju-hyung and a changeup to Lim Byung-wook to induce swinging strikes. Kim Tae-jin followed with a foul fly to left field for the first out of the inning.

Choi Won-tae was faced with another run in the top of the third, but he worked his way out of it. He gave up a leadoff single to Kim Dong-heon and then laid down a sacrifice bunt to Kim Jun-wan to put runners on first and second, but he retired the next two batters, Kim Hye-sung (grounder to second) and Dawson (swinging strikeout) to end the inning.

Choi Won-tae walked off the mound after completing the winning pitch requirement against Kiwoom. ⓒ LG Twins

In the top of the fourth inning, with the score tied at 1-1, Choi gave up another run. After giving up a single to Lee Ju-hyung, he walked Lim Byung-wook to put runners on first and second. He then gave up a single to Kim Tae-jin to make it 1-2.

With a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth, Choi Won-tae entered the game for the final inning. He led off with a pitcher’s interference infield hit. Dawson struck out, but a stolen base and Song Sung-moon’s grounder to the second baseman put runners at second and third. Won-Tae Choi threw his 100th pitch of the day and got Kim Hwi-Jip to fly out to shortstop to end the inning and earn the win.

Choi ended up giving up two runs on six hits in five innings with two walks and five strikeouts before handing the baton over to reliever Ham Deok-ju in the top of the sixth.

Meanwhile, LG took a 5-2 lead against Kiwoom. If the game ends without LG relinquishing the lead, Choi Won-tae will be the winning pitcher.

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