The Korean youth baseball team under the age of 18 (U-18) suffered a complete loss in the first game of the 2023 World Baseball Softball Federation World Youth Baseball Championship. It was even more bitter because it was a defeat despite using up both Hwang Jun-seo and Kim Taek-yeon, the trusted ‘left and right one-two punch’.
Korea, led by coach Lee Young-bok, played its first match against Taiwan in the preliminary round of the tournament held in Taichung, Taiwan on September 2 and lost 1-6.안전놀이터
Korea was unable to play its first preliminary match against Puerto Rico, which was scheduled to be held on September 1. This was because the game was postponed to the 6th due to rain.
To win the first game, Korea used ‘left-handed ace’ Hwang Jun-seo as the starting pitcher against Taiwan. Hwang Jun-seo came to the mound in the bottom of the first inning, supported by Yeo Dong-geon’s RBI single and timely hit in the top of the first inning. However, Hwang Jun-seo got off to a shaky start as he allowed the first batter to get on base due to an outfield catching error in the bottom of the first inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, with two outs and two on base, Hwang Jun-seo allowed the opposing fourth hitter, Wang Nianhao, to hit a timely first hit. Hwang Jun-seo, who had allowed no runs in the bottom of the second inning, was in danger again in the bottom of the third inning. Hwang Jun-seo gave up a walk and a walk with one out in the bottom of the third inning, then gave up consecutive timely hits.
The Korean bench, which was in crisis, tried to extinguish the urgent fire by raising Kim Taek-yeon. However, even Kim Taek-yeon hit an additional timely hit, widening the score gap to 1 to 4.
While the Korean batting line was tied up on Taiwan’s mound after the first inning, the number of runs allowed by Korea increased. Korea was dragged down helplessly after Kim Taek-yeon gave up an additional run in the bottom of the 4th inning, and even Jeon Mir, who pitched in relief in the bottom of the 6th, allowed a run.
In the end, Korea was defeated by Taiwan 1-6 and went into the second round of the preliminary round with one loss. Korea must place in the top 3 of the group stage to advance to the super round. Korea will play the second round of the preliminary round against the Czech Republic at 4 p.m. on the 3rd. Afterwards, a tough schedule awaits them as they have to face Australia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
As Korea poured its entire ‘one-two punch’ of Hwang Jun-seo and Kim Taek-yeon against Taiwan, it is inevitable that there will be a huge burden on mound management for the remaining schedule. Other key pitchers, such as Jeon Mir, Yook Seon-yeop, and Cho Dae-hyun, needed to work harder. In addition, the first game was canceled due to rain, so even the one-day rest day between the preliminary round and the super round was lost. It is expected that mound operation will be easier in the future if mound consumption is minimized in the Czech Republic and Australia games