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Utility man stays on 'even keel' after 1st career postseason home run

All Headlines 18:09 October 20, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

CHANGWON, South Korea, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- Doosan Bears' utility man Choi Joo-hwan smacked his first career postseason home run on Wednesday, but as far as he's concerned, that's already a distant memory.

He probably was on Cloud No. 9 after his go-ahead grand slam in the Bears' 17-7 victory over the NC Dinos in Game 2 of their second round series in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason. But before Game 3 on Friday here, Choi said he's long back down to the ground.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to homer in the postseason," Choi said at Masan Stadium in Changwon, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. "But that was in the previous game. I can't let emotions from that game affect me today. I have to focus on helping the team win today and tomorrow (in Game 4)."

The best-of-five series is now tied at one game apiece, and the winner of this series will reach the Korean Series.

The Bears have won the past two Korean Series, and are trying to become the third team to pull off a three-peat.

Choi made his KBO debut in 2006 but has mostly been a backup player. He's getting some at-bats over American slugger Nick Evans in this series, and will once again start Game 3 as the team's designated hitter.

The 29-year-old said his emotions are the same whether he starts or sits on the bench.

"My goal is always to stay on an even keel and stick to what I've been doing all along," Choi said. "And that's also the foundation of our club. Just because we won the previous game, it doesn't guarantee us a win in the next game. We just have to stay composed."

Choi Joo-hwan of the Doosan Bears celebrates his sixth-inning grand slam against the NC Dinos in Game 2 of their Korea Baseball Organization postseason series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 18, 2017. (Yonhap)


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