SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- Defending South Korean baseball champion Doosan Bears were held to a tie in their first preseason game on Tuesday.
The Bears railed to force a 5-5 tie against the second-year expansion franchise KT Wiz on the road at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.
KT's designated hitter Kim Sang-hyun went deep in two consecutive at-bats to help the Wiz build a 5-0 lead through four.
The Bears answered with a solo shot by Park Kun-woo in the fifth, and added three more runs in the sixth thanks to Hong Sung-heon's two-run home run and Hur Kyoung-min's RBI hit.
Choi Joo-hwan's run-scoring single in the eighth completed the comeback for the Bears. The Wiz wasted four shutout innings by starter Travis Banwart, who joined KT after pitching for the SK Wyverns the past two seasons.
There will be no extra innings in the preseason, which will continue through March 27.
In last year's Korean Series, the Bears defeated the four-time defending champ Samsung Lions to claim their first KBO title in 14 years.
Eight of 10 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) clubs were in action as the preseason got underway. The game in Gwangju between the home team Kia Tigers and visiting LG Twins was rained out.
Elsewhere Tuesday, the Samsung Lions defeated the host NC Dinos 5-3 at Masan Stadium in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, as veteran Lee Seung-yuop collected three hits.
The Lions scored all of their runs with two outs in the top of the first. Lee drove in the first run with a single, and Baek Sang-won hit another run-scoring single. Then with two men aboard, Lee Young-wook took Zach Stewart over the right field for a three-run jack.
The Dinos cut the deficit with two home runs of their own. Lee Ho-jun hit a solo shot in the bottom second, and Park Sok-min, who joined NC as a free agent in the offseason after 10 seasons with Samsung, launched another solo homer in the fourth.
Eric Thames made it a 5-3 game with an RBI single in the sixth, but it was as close as the Dinos would get on this day.
At Ulsan, the Lotte Giants scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to hold the visiting SK Wyverns to a 6-6 tie.
The Giants opened the ninth trailing 6-3, but drew three consecutive walks from SK reliever Kim Ju-han. Kim Jun-tae lined a two-run double to make it a one-run game, and Kang Dong-soo tied the score with a sacrifice fly.
The Giants had a man at second with one out but failed to cash in the winning run.
For SK, first-year import Hector Gomez hit a three-run home run in the fifth.
The Hanwha Eagles defeated the visiting Nexen Heroes 4-2 at Daejeon thanks to strong performances by young pitching prospects.
Left-handed starter Kim Yong-ju held the opponents to a run over three innings. Right-hander Jang Min-jae followed up with two shutout innings while striking out four. Second-year lefty Kim Beom-soo tossed two more scoreless frames in relief.
The Eagles erased a 1-0 deficit with a four-run third. Two singles and a wild pitch put men at second and third with no out, and Kwon Yong-kwan drove both runners home with a single.
Kwon moved to third on two more wild pitches, and scored to make it 3-1 on a grounder to first. Kim Tae-kyun's sacrifice fly capped off the big inning for the Eagles.
All preseason games will start at 1 p.m. Weekday games are free but teams will charge for weekend games. Rained out games will not be made up.
The regular season will begin on April 1.
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