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(2nd LD) SK Wyverns move to brink of S. Korean baseball title

All Headlines 18:30 November 10, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 8-10)

INCHEON, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- The SK Wyverns are one win away from winning the 2018 South Korean professional baseball championship.

The Wyverns rallied to beat the Doosan Bears 4-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the Korean Series on Saturday at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, west of Seoul.

Light-hitting shortstop Kim Sung-hyun tied the score at 1-1 with a double in the bottom seventh, and Kim Kang-min followed that with a go-ahead sacrifice fly later in the inning to put the Wyverns on top 2-1.

The Wyverns added two insurance runs in the eighth, thanks to Park Jung-kwon's RBI single and Kim Sung-hyun's bases-loaded walk. It all began when Doosan shortstop Kim Jae-ho dropped a pop fly to let Choi Jeong reach second.

It was one of two errors committee by the Bears, and only one of the four runs they allowed was earned.

The Bears, who got their lone run on a solo shot by Jung Jin-ho in the third, wasted a gem by starter Seth Frankoff, who struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings.

At the plate, the Bears hit into four double plays, including one that ended the game in the ninth.

The Wyverns can clinch their first Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) title since 2010 with a win in Game 6 on Monday on the road at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. The first pitch is at 6:30 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, will also be at Jamsil at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

This was the final home game for the Wyverns' second-year manager Trey Hillman, who has announced he won't be returning to the dugout next year so that he can start spending more time with his ailing parents in the United States.

Hillman is only the second foreign manager in KBO history and the first to be in the Korean Series.

Kim Sung-hyun of the SK Wyverns hits a game-tying double against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 5 of the Korean Series at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Nov. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)

The Bears put a leadoff man aboard in each of the first two innings, only to hit into double plays against submariner Park Jong-hoon on both occasions.

Then in the third inning, Jung Jin-ho took matters into his own hands. Inserted into the starting lineup in place of injured slugger Kim Jae-hwan, Jung took Park's changeup over the left field wall for his first homer in the postseason.

Jung had two homers in 111 regular season games this year.

Frankoff let the lead stand through six innings with another outstanding performance on the mound. After striking out 10 in 6 2/3 innings in his Game 2 victory on Monday, Frankoff kept SK hitters off balance all day, until things fell apart in the seventh inning.

A single and a sacrifice bunt put a runner at second for No. 9 hitter Kim Sung-hyun. On a 3-2 count, Kim sent a deep fly to left-center field to drive in the tying run.

Kim Tae-hoon of the SK Wyverns delivers a pitch against the Doosan Bears in the top of the seventh inning of Game 5 of the Korean Series at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Nov. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)

It looked to be an ordinary double, but Jung Jin-ho -- the hero at the plate with his homer -- missed the cutoff man with his throw and allowed Kim to trot to third base easily.

Frankoff was pulled after that hit, and new pitcher Lee Young-ha gave up a sacrifice fly to the next batter, Kim Kang-min, as the Wyverns went ahead 2-1.

Another error by the Bears proved costly in the eighth inning, when the Wyverns added two runs to put the game out of reach.

Leading off the eighth, Choi Jeong hit a pop fly to shallow left. Shortstop Kim Jae-ho came over to position himself behind third baseman Heo Kyoung-min, but with the wind blowing out hard, Kim dropped the ball behind him.

Choi reached second on the play and came home on an RBI single by Park Jung-kwon two batters later.

A walk and a single loaded the bases for Kim Sung-hyun, who fell 0-2 in the count against reliever Kim Seung-hye before drawing a walk to get another run across the plate for a 4-1 lead.

SK starter Park Jong-hoon wasn't as dominant as Frankoff but limited the damage to one run over five innings. Angel Sanchez, Kim Tae-hoon and Jung Young-il combined for four shutout innings in relief.

Park Jung-kwon of the SK Wyverns celebrates after hitting an RBI single against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 5 of the Korean Series at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Nov. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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