Kiwoom shows hope despite 2-12 loss in Taiwan tournament

Kiwoom Heroes suffered their second straight loss in a Taiwanese practice match, but their center fielders shined in the batting order.

Kiwoom lost 2-12 against the Zhongxin Brothers on Friday at CTBC Park in Pingtung, Taiwan. It was their second straight exhibition loss, following an 8-10 loss to Zhongxin on March 23.

Starting pitcher Enmanuel de Heysus was unfortunate, allowing two runs on three hits with two strikeouts in one inning. The bullpen of Jang Jae-young (one inning of scoreless relief), Kim Sun-ki (two innings of four runs), Joo Seung-woo (one inning of scoreless relief), Park Yoon-seong (one inning of scoreless relief), Kim Yeon-ju (one inning of three runs), Oh Seok-joo (one inning of three runs), and Moon Sung-hyun (one inning of scoreless relief) also gave up a lot of runs. It was disappointing to see Heisus, who should be a starter this season, and Kim Sun-ki, who is one of the top starting pitching candidates, give up so many runs.

However, the batting lineup had some nice back-to-back home runs. Ronnie Dawson and Lee Joo-hyung showed off their power with back-to-back solo home runs. Dawson, who went 1-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout in the previous game, went 1-for-1 with a double, a home run, one RBI, one run scored, and one walk. Lee Ju-hyung, who went 0-for-2 in the previous game, also had a good game, going 1-for-2 with a double, a home run, one RBI and one run scored.

Kiwoom got on the board in the top of the first inning when leadoff hitter Kim Hye-sung grounded out to third base, but Dawson and Lee Ju-hyung followed with back-to-back home runs.

However, in the bottom of the first inning, starter Heisus gave up two runs on three hits to tie the game, followed by four runs in the fourth inning, three runs in the seventh inning, and three runs in the eighth inning. At the plate, Lim Ji-yeol had a multi-hit game in the sixth inning, while Joo Sung-won and Song Sung-moon also had hits, but none of them were converted into runs.

The game ended in a loss, but Dawson and Lee Joo-hyung, who will lead Kiwoom’s center field this season, raised expectations with their home runs. “I went into my 스포츠토토 first at-bat with the idea of hitting the ball just like I did in batting practice before the game. I focused on timing and making contact, and the home run came. It’s a practice game, but I feel good that I got a good result and my balance is getting better and better. I’m looking forward to the next game.”

Dawson said, “(The first inning home run) was unexpected. It was a pleasant shock for me. The pitcher threw me a good pitch and I took a good swing at it and it came through. It’s just one of those things where I’m getting more and more confidence in what I’ve been working on in the offseason. It was one of those at-bats that gave me the confidence to say, ‘I’m doing something right. I want to continue to prepare well for the rest of the season and carry that into the regular season.”

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