The Doosan Bears earned a dramatic 1-0 win thanks to their bats. Infielder Kang Seung-ho recorded his first career cycling hit.
Doosan extended its winning streak to five games with an 8-6 victory over the KIA Tigers in the 13th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Friday, improving its record to 62-1, 57 (.521). On the other hand, KIA, which was unable to end its losing streak after more than four hours of battling, fell into a three-game losing streak and dropped to 60-2-55 (0.522). The team’s ranking dropped one spot from fourth to fifth, and the gap between fifth-place KIA and sixth-place Doosan completely disappeared.
Arguably, the star of the game was Kang Seung-ho. After drawing a walk in his first at-bat, he followed it up with a home run in his second, a triple, a double, and a single to become the 30th player in KBO history to hit a cycling hit.
Most recently, Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) achieved the record on October 25, 2021, against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles. Narrowing it down to the Doosan club, it’s been 2291 days since Jeong Jin-ho (June 7, 2017 against the Jamsil Samsung Lions) hit a cycling hit.
If you include Doosan’s predecessor, OB, this is the sixth cycling hit after Lim Hyung-seok (August 23, 1992 against the Lotte Giants in Jamsil), Lee Jong-wook (April 11, 2009 against the LG Twins in Jamsil), Oh Jae-won (May 23, 2014 against the Hanwha Eagles in Jamsil), Park Geon-woo (June 16, 2016 against KIA in Gwangju), and Jeong Jin-ho.
The reverse natural cycling hit, which follows the reverse order from home run to single, has never been done in the history of the KBO. It’s not an official record, but it meant something to Kang Seung-ho.
Catcher Yang Ji-joo also did his part, going 2-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored, while Park Jun-young, who came off the bench to pinch-hit for Kang, contributed to the team’s victory with a solo shot in the eighth inning and a push-button single in the ninth.
On the mound, starter Brandon Waddell struggled, giving up four runs (four earned) on seven hits (one home run) and two walks with six strikeouts in 4⅔ innings, but the bullpen behind him, including Lee Young-ha (17 pitches, 1 1/3 scoreless innings) and Kim Kang-ryul (13 pitches, 1 inning, 1 strikeout), Kim Myung-shin (21 pitches, 1 inning, 1 strikeout), and Jeong Chul-won (18 pitches, 1 inning, 1 strikeout) put on a great pitching relay to keep KIA off the board.
After the game, Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “Today is Kang Seung-ho’s day. The record for cycling hits is great, but all of them came at a time when the team really needed them. It means a lot to both the team and the individual. I sincerely congratulate him on his first personal record and the 30th in history.”
“On the mound, our starter Brandon had to leave the game early, but the bullpen did their part,” Lee said. “I’d like to thank the players for staying focused despite the humid weather and short game time, and I’d like to thank the fans for their support until the end.”
Doosan will start Raul Alcantara on the 16th to try and win their sixth straight game and sweep the series.