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Go Young-woo goes 3-for-3 with RBI

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The Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating the Hanwha Eagles. Rookie sensation Ko Young-woo hit a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning to help the team snap a seven-game losing streak.

Kiwoom, led by manager Hong Won-ki, won 7-1 against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Nov. 11.

Foreign left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus, who returned to the mound after 10 days of recharging his batteries, threw six innings of three-hit ball, striking out three and walking two with a changeup (17) and curveball (13), using a mix of fastballs that topped out at 151 mph (39), cutter (23) and two-seam (11). Threw a career-high 103 pitches to pick up his fifth win of the season. He moved into a three-way tie for first place in wins with Will Crowe (KIA) and Won Tae-in (Samsung).

At the plate, rookie infielder Ko Young-woo, the 39th overall pick in the fourth round out of Sungkyunkwan University, started at third base in the No. 5 spot and went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. After opening the scoring in the third inning with a single up the middle off Hanwha starter Hwang Jun-seo to put runners on first and second, Ko capped the scoring with a two-run double to right-center off Park Sang-won in the eighth. With his sixth consecutive hit and third consecutive multi-hit game, 안전놀이터 Ko improved his season batting average to 3-for-9 (24-for-61).

After the game, Ko said, “It feels great to have a good performance to break the losing streak. I’ve been in good shape lately, so I went in confidently.” “The manager, hitting coach, seniors, and my brothers all made me feel comfortable, so I’m playing without much pressure. I don’t have any worries or pressure, I just think about how I need to play today. Even if I make mistakes, I try to do it with confidence.”

Lee Yong-kyu, the team’s top veteran, also tipped the scales in favor of Kiwoom with a surprise solo shot in the eighth inning with a 3-0 lead. He pulled a 149-kilometer fastball low and away from Park Sang-won’s five-pitch at-bat for a 110-meter home run. It was his first home run of the season, 940 days after his last one on October 14, 2021, against Gochuk NC. With this home run, Lee Yong-kyu became the 14th player in KBO history to reach 2,100 career hits.

With the win, Kiwoom snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to the Sasik Lotte game on Feb. 2, improving to 16-23 (.410 winning percentage) and overtaking Hanwha for sole possession of eighth place in the standings.

After the game, Kiwoom head coach Hong Won-ki said, “Heisus pitched a perfect game after 10 days off. Thanks to his strong pitching, we were able to take a good lead from the beginning of the game. On offense, Koh Young-woo’s leadoff single in the first inning awakened the bats. Kim Hye-sung also contributed on defense with a single and a diving catch. In the eighth inning, Lee Yong-kyu’s solo shot and Ko Young-woo’s two RBIs sealed the game,” said Hong.

“I would like to thank and apologize to the fans for their support despite our recent poor results. Thanks to them, we were able to break the losing streak today. We will prepare well for the next game so that we can show a good performance.”

Kiwoom, meanwhile, will be looking for a winning series with rookie right-hander Jeon Jun-pyo as the starter against Hanwha on Wednesday. Joon-pyo Jeon, who was drafted by Kiwoom with the eighth overall pick in the first round this year after graduating from Seoul High School, started out in the bullpen. In 12 games (10⅓ innings), he is 2-1 with a 6.10 ERA. He was promoted to the second team on March 28 and prepared to start in the Futures League. First start with the first team. Rookie left-hander Dong-wook Cho, the 11th overall pick in the second round from Hanwha, will make his first-team debut as a starter.

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