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Foreign starters to take mound to open baseball postseason series

All Headlines 15:46 October 20, 2016

CHANGWON, South Korea, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- Two foreign pitchers will take the mound for their respective clubs to start the second round postseason series in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on Friday.

NC Dinos' manager Kim Kyung-moon on Thursday announced right-hander Eric Hacker as the Game 1 starter in the best-of-five series starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Masan Stadium in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

Kim's LG counterpart, Yang Sang-moon, said he will counter with right-hander Henry Sosa.

The Dinos, by finishing second in the regular season, earned the bye to the second round. The Twins, who finished fourth, beat the Kia Tigers for the wild card and eliminated the Nexen Heroes in four games in the first round.

Eric Hacker of the NC Dinos (L) and Henry Sosa of the LG Twins will pitch in Game 1 of their second round playoff series in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)

The Dinos haven't played since the end of the regular season on Oct. 9. The Twins' clinching game came on Monday.

Hacker, in his fourth KBO season, led the team with 13 wins and a 3.45 ERA in 23 starts. He struck out 119 and walked 31 in 140 2/3 innings.

He made three starts against the Twins, going 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 2/3 innings.

Sosa is on his third KBO team in his fifth season in Korea. The Dominican pitcher went 10-9 with a 5.16 ERA in 33 starts. He tossed 199 innings, with 107 strikeouts and 38 walks.

He was 2-2 versus the Dinos in five starts, with a 5.10 ERA in 30 innings.

Hacker has lost all three postseason starts in the KBO with a 7.11 ERA, while Sosa is a 2-1 in postseason play with a 3.86 ERA in five appearances.

Yang could have gone with left-hander David Huff on four days' rest, but said he wanted to send every starter on a regular schedule because "it takes three wins to take this series, not one." Huff will be then lined up to start Game 2 on Saturday.

Huff, who joined the Twins midseason, was excellent in his 13 appearances, with a 7-2 mark and a 3.13 ERA. He has been rock solid in the postseason, too. He has given up only three earned runs in 14 innings, with 10 strikeouts and one walk.

Huff got a no-decision in his lone start against the Dinos on Sept. 21, despite keeping them to a run on five hits in seven innings.


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