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Hanwha Eagles rally past Kiwoom Heroes to snap 2-game skid in KBO

All News 23:51 August 11, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- A teenage rookie Lim Jong-chan drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning for his first career RBI, as the Hanwha Eagles rallied past the Kiwoom Heroes 7-5 on Tuesday.

Choi Jae-hoon also drove in a run with a single in the 12th at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, helping the Eagles snap their two-game losing streak. They were down 5-1 after five innings.

Fans take in the Korea Baseball Organization regular season game between the home team Kiwoom Heroes and the Hanwha Eagles at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Aug. 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

This was also the Eagles' first win over the Heroes in seven meetings this season.

With the score tied at 5-5, the 18-year-old Lim came on as pinch hitter in the 12th against Jo Seong-woon. With Brandon Barnes at second, Lim lined a single to right field. Lee Jung-hoo made a decent throw home, but Barnes beat it with relative ease for a 6-5 lead.

Lim advanced to second on Lee's throw, and came around to score for a 7-5 advantage on Choi's single.

The Heroes scored the game's first run in the bottom first without a hit.

They loaded the bases after a walk, a fielding error and a hit-by-pitch. Park Byung-ho then hit a sacrifice fly to center field for a 1-0 lead.

The Eagles tied the score in the top second with one swing of the bat, courtesy of Brandon Barnes' solo home run.

The slugger turned on a 3-1 two-seamer from starter Choi Won-tae and drove it well over the left field wall for his second home run of the season.

As Choi settled down on the mound, his teammates got to work at the plate.

Brandon Barnes of the Hanwha Eagles (R) celebrates his solo home run against the Kiwoom Heroes with his third base coach Choo Seung-woo during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Aug. 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

Park Byung-ho launched a two-run homer off starter Warwick Saupold in the bottom third to break a 1-1 tie. It was Park's 20th home run of the season, making him just the second player in league history with seven straight seasons of at least 20 dingers.

The Heroes moved further ahead in the bottom fourth. Kim Hye-seong opened the inning with a single, stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch by Saupold. Kim then came home on Joo Hyo-sang's single to left.

Later in the inning, Kim Ha-seong knocked in another run with a single of his own, giving the Heroes a 5-1 lead.

Saupold managed to finish the inning but didn't come back out for the fifth, as his summer swoon continued.

The right-hander's last victory came on June 26. In seven starts since, he's gone 0-5 with a 7.88 ERA. His season ERA has ballooned from 3.50 to 5.12.

Saupold would have been saddled with his 10th loss of the season, but his teammates got him off the hook by tying the score with four runs in the top sixth.

Saupold's counterpart, Choi, pitched into trouble that inning after cruising through three frames following Barnes' home run.

Choi gave up a leadoff single and walked the next batter. A fielding error by second baseman Seo Geon-chang on a groundball that should have been turned into a double play allowed the Eagles to load the bases.

Choi walked his second batter of the inning to let in a run, and it spelled the end of his night.

Reliever Yang Hyun entered the game and promptly gave up a two-run single to Ha Ju-suk, as the Eagles got to within 5-4.

Yang hit a batter to load the bases again. He struck out Barnes but then allowed Kim Tae-kyun to hit a game-tying sacrifice fly to deep center field.

The teams traded a few more zeroes, with the Heroes squandering a great opportunity in the eighth.

They had the bases loaded with two outs for Park Byung-ho. At 0-2 count against closer Jung Woo-ram, Park smacked a hard line drive to left, and left fielder Roh Soo-kwang made a game-saving diving grab to end the rally.

In the top ninth, the Eagles, too, loaded the bases with two outs. And as fate would have it, Roh stepped up to the plate against closer Cho Sang-woo, with a chance to make an impact with his bat. Instead, Roh flied out to left, getting a taste of his own medicine.

The Heroes went down in order in the bottom ninth to send the game to extra innings.

The Eagles put some pressure on in the top 10th, with a two-out walk and a single, only to see Roh Si-hwan strike out swinging.

The Heroes went three-up, three-down in the bottom 10th, and the Eagles threatened again with a single and a double in the top 11th.

The Heroes' reliever Kim Jae-woong intentionally walked Roh to load the bases and set up a double play. Though the Heroes didn't get the twin killing, the strategy worked out just fine, as Kim struck out Ha Ju-suk and got Choi Jin-hang to fly out to right.

The Heroes wasted another opportunity in the bottom 11th. With two runners on and one out, pinch hitter Jeon Byeong-woo struck out, and Kim Hye-seong grounded out to second to send the game to the 12th.

And the Eagles finally broke the deadlock. Reliever Kim Dong-hyeok hit Barnes with his first pitch, and was immediately lifted for Jo Seong-woon.

A sacrifice bunt moved Barnes to second base, and Lim Jong-chan delivered the crucial hit to right field.

Choi's insurance single provided a two-run cushion for the Eagles' bullpen, and Kim Jin-wook struck out Kim Ha-seong to close out the five-hour contest.

After Saupold, the nine Eagles' relievers combined for eight shutout innings, striking out 10 batters while giving up just four hits.

This was the Heroes' first home game since the cap on the size of the crowd was raised from 10 percent to 25 percent. The Heroes said 4,056 seats, or 24.2 percent of the 16,731 seats at the dome, were available. The official attendance count came to 1,929.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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