It was the game that proved why many say baseball is more than a game.
The Korea Baseball Organization’s All-Star game ended Saturday in dramatic fashion, with West beating East 5-4 in the 10th inning, delighting the crowd of more than 27,000 at the Jamsil Stadium.
Playing in front of a packed stadium, the West All-Stars, comprised of players from the Kia Tigers, LG Twins, Hanwha Eagles and Nexen Heroes, battled back and forth for 10 innings against the East, made up of players from the SK Wyverns, Doosan Bears, the Samsung Lions and the Lotte Giants. But finally, the West side pulled off the dramatic victory on a single hit by Lee Byung-kyu in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Lee Byung-kyu (right) celebrates with his teammates after hitting a single in the 10th inning on Saturday at Jamsil Stadium. (Yonhap News)
With two runners on base and two out, the LG Twins outfielder Lee beat out a single to right from Lions closer Oh Seung-hwan to finish the game. He went 3-for-5 on Saturday, including double hit in the first inning. And with his contribution to the team’s victory, the 37-year-old veteran won his first All-Star MVP trophy.
The West took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Lee’s two-run single, and LG’s Cho In-sung hit a single home run to make it 3-0.
But the East side also had attacking prowess. With runners on first and third with one out in the fourth inning, Wyverns pinch-hitter Jung Keun-woo hit a sacrifice fly to the left to earn the team’s first run, and Choi Hyung-woo of the Lions blasted a two-run homer to make the game 3-3.
After a scoreless ninth inning, the two sides went into a tie-break. The East took a 4-3 lead, and were on the verge of winning the game after closer Oh struck out the West’s second batter.
But the inspired Lee delivered a game-winning single after his team mate Jung Sung-hoon tied the score 4-4 with a single hit.
With the win on Saturday, the West side has now a 13-22 win-loss record the East.
KBO’s top-flight baseball league will resume Tuesday.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com)