“If a player who was on standby becomes a replacement starter and shows good performance, it will definitely be a boost of energy.”스포츠토토

NC Dinos acting manager Kang In-kwon sent generous praise to infielder Choi Jeong-won ahead of the Lotte Giants match in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ to be held at Sajik Stadium on the 12th.

Choi Jeong-won started as the ninth hitter and second baseman in the last game (against Changwon Lotte on the 10th). This is to replace Park Min-woo, who was absent due to right pelvic impingement.

Until this day, Choi Jeong-won had a batting average of 0.053 (1 hit in 19 at-bats) and 2 RBI in 21 games this year. He played defense and pinch runner late in the game as a backup.

Even with few opportunities, Choi Jeong-won proved his presence. As the lead hitter in the bottom of the third inning, which was his first at-bat, he took advantage of opposing starter Aaron Wilkerson’s 139 km/h cutter and hit a triple to the right field. NC opened with Choi Jeong-won’s triple, and when the follow-up batter, Son Ah-seop, grounded out to second base, Choi Jeong-won scored and took the lead, 1-0. The final score was 1 hit and 1 run in 3 at-bats.

This score was significant. NC defeated Lotte 3-1 that day, and Choi Jeong-won scored the final goal. In particular, it was a game in which every point was precious, as the score gap was tight and Eric Peddy, who was trying to secure a shutout with a perfect pitch in the top of the 9th inning, which was the last defense, suddenly faltered, making the game unpredictable until the end.

Coach Kang expressed his gratitude, saying, “When a player who was on standby becomes a substitute starter and shows good performance, it definitely becomes a boost of energy in terms of the team atmosphere and the influence it has on the starting players.”

Choi Jeong-won performed well, but with Park Min-woo’s return to the starting lineup, he has to wait on the bench again. Coach Kang said, “(Park Min-woo) has not fully recovered yet. Although he has some discomfort, he is in good enough condition to play in today’s game (12th).”

NC has been on the rise since the beginning of this season and is currently ranked 3rd in the league (63 wins, 2 draws, 52 losses). They are in a situation where they can look higher than KT Wiz (65 wins, 3 draws, 53 losses), who are one step higher, with a 0.5 game difference.

However, Coach Kang tried to focus on one game at a time. “When you wake up, the ranking changes. I don’t want to attach much importance to it (at this point). I also didn’t look for rides. I focused on the bottom rather than the top, and before I knew it, I was chasing (KT) by half a game. I didn’t even realize the ranking had narrowed down that much. “I think it’s more important to take one game at a time rather than just ride it out,” he said.

Meanwhile, NC began changing the entries on this day. Outfielder Cheon Jae-hwan (11th) headed to the Futures League, and Han Seok-hyun (12th) was promoted to the first team for the first time since May 4.

Manager Kang explained the entry change by saying, “There was some overlap between Jae-Hwan Chun and Seong-Wook Kim in the outfield. I was informed that Seok-Hyun Han was in good condition in the Futures League.”

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