‘Almost’ the final hit, but ‘this song’ again? 바카라 “I’ll finish it,” says the clutch man [Interview].
[Busan=Sports Chosun Reporter Kim Young-rok] The ‘man of the clutch’ proved once again that he is not a myth. Song Sung-moon was the solution to the Kiwoom Heroes batting line-up without Lee Jung-hoo.
In the third game of the weekend series against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 23rd, the Kiwoom Heroes came from behind to win 7-6, one-run, after a 370-minute battle that included a comeback, two ejections, an 84-minute suspension due to heavy rain and ground maintenance, and 10 extra innings, thanks to Song Sung-moon’s clutch hit in the top of the 10th.
It was a depressing day for referee Kim. After more than six hours of full-time play, the downpour suddenly stopped, forcing him to call an 84-minute stoppage to repair the pitch. Throughout the game, there were some emotional confrontations with the players over strike-and-ball calls, which resulted in the ejection of Lotte manager Larry Sutton and Kiwoom Yong-kyu. In the final innings, he was hit by a bouncer and left in agony.
Conversely, Song Sung-moon had the best day of his career. In the top of the eighth inning, it was Kim Hye-sung who nearly scored the game-winning run. With the score tied at 4-4, she had runners on first and second with no outs. However, Lotte’s Yoon Dong-hee threw out Kim Dong-heon at second base. Song Sung-moon followed with a two-run single.
However, Song’s first glory was cut short by a tying two-run shot by Jeon Jun-woo, sending the game into extra innings in the top of the 10th.
Two batters later, Kiwoom Dawson doubled to load the bases, and Lotte walked Lee Won-seok to load the bases despite Song’s earlier double.
“I had a lot of important chances in front of me, so I tried to swing concisely. If I had lost or drawn…I’m glad I won,” he sighed.
Keum Dawson is all smiles after his home run.
What was going through her mind on the final pitch? “Honestly, I was a little angry inside. Of course, my performance was bad, but I had two hits earlier… I thought I had to finish it off. My competitive spirit kicked in,” he said. “He’s a tough pitcher the closer he gets, so my goal was to hit the pitches I could see and make an in-play. Luckily, the forked ball came a bit high and it worked out well,” he added.
“At first I was really disappointed that we were stopped in our own half, but then it was raining so hard and I thought it was going to be difficult, but everyone worked so hard that I’m able to do this interview. In fact, my back feels like it’s going to break. I’ll have to lie down all day tomorrow.”
Song Sung-moon also talked about the ball judgement issues that came up repeatedly throughout the day, saying, “Just like I can miss a shot or make a mistake when it matters, I think the umpires are human too. Of course, I get angry,” he laughed.
Kiwoom faced a major setback when Lee Jung-hoo was ruled out with an injury. Song Sung-moon said, “I hope the check-up results are good. It’s a position I can’t fill alone. He’s going to miss at least 10 days, so we’ll all pull together and play hard.”