The Korea Herald


Samsung Lions clinch 4th straight pennant in S. Korean baseball

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Oct. 15, 2014 - 22:14

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Yamaico Navarro of Samsung Lions Yamaico Navarro of Samsung Lions
The Samsung Lions clinched their fourth consecutive pennant in the top South Korean baseball league with a narrow victory on Wednesday.

The Lions defeated the LG Twins 5-3 at their home in Daegu, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to secure first place in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season this year with one game remaining. Second baseman Yamaico Navarro hit a tie-breaking solo shot in the two-run eighth inning, as the Lions improved to 78-46 with three ties for the season.

The Lions have also won the championship Korean Series in each of the past three years and will look to become the second KBO team ever to win four Korean Series in a row.

By virtue of finishing first in the regular season, the Lions have earned the bye to the Korean Series and will face the winner of the second round of the playoffs.

The postseason opens Sunday with a best-of-five series between the No. 3 and the No. 4 teams. The winner there will take on the No. 2-ranked team in the second round, which is also a best-of-five affair.

The best-of-seven Korean Series is scheduled to begin on Nov. 4.

Through Wednesday, the Nexen Heroes have clinched second place and the NC Dinos, in just their second KBO season, have secured third place. The Twins and the SK Wyverns are still battling for the final postseason ticket.

The Twins have one game remaining and the Wyverns have two left.

The Lions had to claw their way to the victory on Wednesday.

They built a 3-0 lead through five innings, before the Twins got one back in the top sixth.

Then in the top seventh, the Twins scored twice to draw even on a double and a wild pitch.

Just when the momentum seemed to swing in the Twins' favor, Navarro belted his 31st home run of the year off the Twins' reliever Yoo Won-sang.

LG's next pitcher, Lee Dong-hyun, hit a batter with the bases loaded to make it 5-3 for the Lions.

Samsung's setup man An Ji-man was credited with the win after pitching 2 2/3 innings and Lim Chang-yong got the final out for his 31st save of the season. (Yonhap)