KT continued its hot streak with a come-from-behind victory over Hanwha, which hit four home runs.
KT pounded out 13 hits and drew four walks in a 12-6 win over Hanwha at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Monday. They overcame a 1-5 deficit by scoring three runs in the fourth, six in the fifth, and two in the seventh. With third-place NC losing 1-2 to SSG to end their five-game winning streak, KT moved up to third place, knocking NC off the top spot by one game.
Since the start of the second half, KT has gone 14-3 in 17 games. After finishing the first half in sixth place, they moved up one spot to third place with an overwhelming upward pace. KT, which has not lost a game in the second half of the season, has won three straight games after ending a seven-game winning streak with a loss to Doosan on May 5.
For once, they have escaped the “Hanwha phobia” that has plagued them this season. Whenever KT faced Hanwha, their games would turn sour, and they had a 1-1 record against them this year. After a 7-2 win on the 8th against Hanwha, which was an important starting point for securing the top spot, they came from behind to make it 3-1 on the day, confirming a much different trend from the first half.
The game got off to a shaky start as Hanwha was hit with cannonball after cannonball at the beginning of the game. Hanwha took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against KT starter Uhm Sang-baek, as Noh Si-hwan and Chae Eun-sung hit back-to-back home runs. In the bottom of the inning, KT answered with an RBI single by Park Byung-ho, but Hanwha fired up the home run gun again in the top of the third. With runners on first and second, Noh Si-hwan hit a three-run homer to left-center field.
However, trailing 1-5, KT began to take advantage of Hanwha starter Peña in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Hwang Jae-gyun singled and Park Byung-ho doubled to put runners on second and third, Peña’s wild pitch allowed KT to score. After scoring on Oh Yoon-seok’s infield single, KT stole second and third to score another run and make it 4-5.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the bases were loaded right from the start. Moon Sang-chul’s RBI double made it 6-5 and Jang Jang-woo’s sacrifice fly made it 7-5, forcing Peña to retire the side. Hanwha immediately brought in its closer, Lee Tae-yang, but KT didn’t rest, scoring three runs on an RBI triple by Ahn Chi-young, a sacrifice fly by Kim Sang-soo, and an RBI single by Kim Min-hyuk to score six runs in the fifth inning and take a 10-5 lead, effectively sealing the game.
KT starter Uhm Sang-baek gave up five runs in the third inning, but then threw 100 pitches in the seventh inning without allowing a run to set the stage for KT’s comeback victory. KT, which had a seven-game winning streak with seven consecutive starting wins before the Doosan game on April 4, has now won three straight games with at least seven innings pitched by its starters and three consecutive starting wins.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “All of our players were focused and played a really good game. Our starting pitcher, Uhm Sang-baek, looked a little shaky as he gave up the first five runs, but after the bats exploded, he settled down and did his part.” “Even when we were down 1-5, all the players didn’t give up. We showed decisiveness in our chances against the Hanwha Aces and were able to win with big innings, including Moon Sang-chul’s game-winning hit. I’m grateful to the power analysis team and hitting coaches for their hard work in preparing for today’s game.”
Hanwha didn’t win despite four home runs from its No. 3-4 hitters.
Noh Si-hwan, who led the league in home runs with six in July and was named the KBO’s July Most Valuable Player (MVP), added a solo shot in the top 토토 of the eighth inning to record his 26th of the season and move within five of Choi Chung (21 SSG) for second place in home runs. He pounded out five RBIs on the day with three home runs, but it wasn’t enough to save Hanwha from a fourth straight loss.