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Backup second baseman swings way to postseason series MVP award

All News 23:18 November 05, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- They call him the "man of the autumn," because it's the time of the year when postseason baseball games are played and Oh Jae-won turns into a different hitter.

The 35-year-old backup second baseman for the Doosan Bears was named the MVP of the first-round playoff series in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on Thursday. The Bears completed their two-game sweep of the LG Twins with a 9-7 victory at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, and Oh drove in two runs for the second straight game.

In Wednesday's 4-0 victory, Oh batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs out of the No. 9 spot. Batting eighth in Game 2, Oh was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Oh Jae-won of the Doosan Bears points to his dugout after hitting an RBI single against the LG Twins in the top of the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Korea Baseball Organization first-round postseason series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2020. (Yonhap)

He received 53 out of 67 votes cast by media and took home 2 million won (US$1,780) in prize money and a trophy.

Oh only got the start in these two games because the Bears' everyday second baseman, Choi Joo-hwan, was still dealing with effects of plantar fasciitis. During the regular season, Oh bounced between the Bears and their minor league club, while batting just .232 in 85 games -- his lowest total since 2012.

He is a lifetime .269 hitter in the regular season, but he is a .309 hitter in 87 postseason games.

Oh's postseason excellence is hardly news for Bears fans. Last year, Oh batted .164 in 98 regular season games, and then went 5-for-10 with two doubles and three RBIs as the Bears swept the Kiwoom Heroes in four straight games.

In Thursday's victory, Oh drove in the game's first run, with a double to left field in the top of the second inning.

Oh Jae-won of the Doosan Bears celebrates after winning the MVP award for the Korea Baseball Organization first-round postseason series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2020. (Yonhap)

Then with the Bears up 2-0 in the top fourth, Oh stepped in with the runners at the corners against the new pitcher, left-hander Jin Hae-soo. Oh kept the rally going with a base hit to left field that extended the lead to 3-0. The Bears ended up scoring seven runs in that inning.

Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyoung said he put Oh into the lineup mostly for his steady defense and that any offense Oh can provide is a bonus. In these two games, though, Oh led the club with four RBIs.

From the bottom of the order, that's some kind of bonus.

Oh Jae-won of the Doosan Bears hits an RBI double against the LG Twins in the top of the second inning of Game 2 of the Korea Baseball Organization first-round postseason series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 5, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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