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(LEAD) Shortstop atones for defensive miscue with hot bat

All Headlines 23:05 October 17, 2016

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By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- LG Twins' shortstop Oh Ji-hwan had yet another adventurous moment on defense in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason on Monday, but after his four-hit night in the series clinching game against the Nexen Heroes, hardly anyone will remember that mishap on the field.

The Twins defeated the Heroes 5-4 to close out the best-of-five first round series in four games at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, and their offense literally began and ended with Oh's bat.

With the Twins down 4-0, Oh drove in LG's first run of the game with a single in the third. The Twins ate into the deficit and made it a 4-4 game in the two-run fifth.

They stranded potential go-ahead runs in the sixth and seventh, but that only set the stage for more heroics by Oh in the eighth.

The Twins drew two consecutive walks off Nexen closer Kim Se-hyun with one out in the eighth. After cleanup Luis Jimenez flied out to left, Oh came through with a looping single to shallow right field.

Oh Ji-hwan of the LG Twins hits a go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth inning in their Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason game against the Nexen Heroes at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 17, 2016. (Yonhap)

It was Oh's fourth hit of the night. He batted 6-for-12 with three RBIs in four games against the Heroes and was named the MVP of the series.

And Oh did more than enough to erase the painful, if not downright embarrassing, moment in the top second.

The Heroes had already gone up 1-0, when Park Dong-won chopped one into the hole between third and short. Oh ran toward the ball, and inadvertently knocked it into the foul territory, as Kim Min-sung scored from second.

It was scored as a double. And the Heroes added two runs later in the inning on a Seo Geon-chang single, which ended the day for LG starter Ryu Jae-kuk.

Yet the Twins refused to go away, and Oh's day at the plate highlighted the relentless offense.

Luis Jimenez, who had gone just 2-for-11 in the series, picked up two hits and scored twice on Monday. No. 3 hitter Park Yong-taik went 2-for-4, and finished the series 6-for-15.

On defense, Oh has developed a reputation for botching routine plays while often turning spectacular ones. His glove had earlier cost the Twins the first wild card game against the Kia Tigers last week, pushing the club to the brink of postseason elimination.

On this night, it was Oh's bat that carried the Twins into the next round.

"This feels great, and I've never experienced anything quite like it," Oh said in his post-game press conference. "Playing the shortstop position can have its ups and downs. And before the postseason, I felt the pressure not to make mistakes. But I figured even if I make errors, I could always compensate for them with my bat, and I believed I would get my chances."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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