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Heroes' star outfielder ready for extended postseason run

All News 18:02 November 02, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- The Kiwoom Heroes are beginning the 2020 South Korean baseball with their back against the wall even before the first pitch.

As the lower seed in the Wild Card round against the LG Twins, the Heroes must win two straight games in two days to advance. The Twins, on the other hand, only need a tie in Monday's first game in order to move on.

The higher-seeded team has won every Wild Card since its inception in 2015. Only one team, the 2016 Kia Tigers, even forced a second game.

In this file photo from Oct. 16, 2020, Lee Jung-hoo of the Kiwoom Heroes runs to first base after hitting a double against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the sixth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

But the Heroes' outfielder Lee Jung-hoo isn't worried about that history.

"I want to keep playing baseball with my teammates, and I think everyone feels the same way," Lee said Monday in his pregame media session at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. "We want to play until the very end of this season."

The Heroes play their home games at Gocheok Sky Dome in the nation's capital. It's the only domed ballpark in the country, and it will serve as the venue for the final two rounds of the playoffs, starting on Nov. 9.

The start of the regular season was delayed by over a month because of the coronavirus pandemic, which in turn forced the first November start in KBO postseason history. To guard against cold conditions for fans and players alike, the KBO decided to use Gocheok as the neutral venue.

"If we don't make it to the second round, then we'll have to empty our lockers for someone else," Lee said, before adding with a smile, "I am kind of high maintenance. I don't want anyone else to be using my locker."

Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Jung-hoo speaks to reporters at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul ahead of a Korea Baseball Organization Wild Card game against the LG Twins on Nov. 2, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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