KT Wiz won a dramatic 5-4 walk-off victory against Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League (Game 16) at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the 10th. KT secured a direct ticket to the playoffs by confirming the second place in the final game of the season. This season, Doosan finished with an overwhelming advantage of 10 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses.
The whole process from the start of the season to the end was a miracle and magic. KT, which was classified into the third round with LG and SSG prior to the 2023 season, had its plan twisted due to a series of unexpected injuries. Starting with the must-win group Kim Min-soo and Joo Kwon, key players such as Bae Jung-dae, So Hyung-joon, Um Sang-baek, Hwang Jae-kyun, Park Byung-ho and Cho Yong-ho were injured once and could not operate their normal power. Until early June, KT was at the bottom with a margin of -14.
KT opened the prelude to a rebound show on June 3 by winning six consecutive games against Doosan in Suwon. Following 15 wins and 8 losses in June (1st overall), he performed well in July with 13 wins and 6 losses (3rd overall), finally achieving a winning percentage of more than 50%. KT, which raised its ranking step by step, finally rose to second place with a victory over Hanwha in Daejeon on August 19, and maintained its ranking for nearly two months and succeeded in going straight to the playoffs. After the game, he held a postseason start ceremony with home fans and shared the joy of second place.
KT did not back down. In the ninth inning, leader Hwang Jae-kyun fired a dramatic tiebreaking solo home run against Doosan closer Jung Chul-won, and Kang Hyun-woo finished the game with a walk-off walk with the bases loaded, which led to consecutive hits by Park Byung-ho and pinch hitter Lee Ho-yeon and automatic intentional four-pitch by pinch hitter Moon Sang-chul. It was the moment when KT, which had been in the last place until early June, stood tall as the second-ranked team in the regular season.
KT won its first integrated championship two years ago, but failed to overcome Kiwoom’s wall in last year’s semi-playoffs, thwarting its dream of winning two consecutive games. Therefore, after confirming the second place on the day, the words “winning” came out of the players’ mouths.
Hwang Jae-kyun, the main character of the tiebreaking home run in the ninth inning, said, “We only have the championship in our head. I want to go up to the Korean Series and finish with a good result. All the players have nothing but a win in their heads, he said. “I was sorry to win at Gocheok two years ago, but I have a chance to win at home this time, so I have to try to catch it.” No matter who comes (in the semi-playoffs), we’re ready to win,” he said emphatically.
Ace William Cuevas, who led KT’s miraculous rebound, also said, “The most important thing is victory. He has to go through the playoffs before going to the Korean Series, but his biggest goal is to beat LG through it. I already have a strong desire to defeat LG,” he said, expressing his strong desire for V2. 스포츠토토
Captain Park Kyung-soo has a good memory of winning the MVP with the first winning ring of emotion in the Korean Series two years ago. “We still have autumn baseball left, but I don’t forget the hard parts in the bottom half of the season, and I want to make up for the shortcomings and play better in the postseason. I want to win the championship,” he said, also shouting V2.
After completing all 144 games in the 2023 season, KT will play in the first round of the playoffs (best of five) on the 30th after a honey-flavored break for about three weeks. This season, LG ended their showdown with 6 wins, 10 losses and inferiority.