I knew I would do well. It was beyond expectations.

KT Wiz right-handed reliever Park Young-hyun was selected for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team and returned with a gold medal around his neck. He made a name for himself with the senior national team for the first time in his career.아톰카지노

In the first game of Group B of the group stage against Hong Kong (10-0 cold game win in the 8th inning), he earned a save with 1 hit, 2 strikeouts, and no runs in 1 inning (12 pitches). In the second game against Taiwan (0-4 loss), he came on the mound in a critical situation and put out the fire. He pitched 1⅓ innings with 3 strikeouts and no runs (12 pitches).

He shined the most in the first match of the Super Round against Japan (2-0 win). He recorded a save in 2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 strikeout, and no runs (21 pitches). He came on the mound in the top of the 8th inning with a 1-0 lead. He struck out Jin Nakamura after three pitches and Ryo Kinami with a grounder on the first pitch. He gave up a left-field double to Hiroki Nakagawa. He threw the first pitch to pinch hitter Kazuya Shimokawa and threw out a fly ball to center field, easily escaping from a scoring crisis.

He stayed on the mound in the top of the 9th inning. Due to shortstop Kim Joo-won’s (NC) throwing error and Sato Tatsuhiko’s left-handed hit, the team reached first and second base with no outs. Park Young-hyun guided Masashi Maruyama to a ground ball to second base and caught the runner at second base. He joined hands with the goddess of victory by leading a double play with 1 out, 1st and 3rd base to Kohei Sasagawa, leading to 2nd base, shortstop, and 1st base.

In the long-awaited final against Chinese Taipei (2-0 win), he took the mound in the 8th inning with a 2-0 lead, and saved 1 inning with 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, and no runs (17 pitches). His final performance in the Asian Games was 4 games, 5⅓ innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, and no runs. He had 2 saves and an earned run average of 0. 

KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol did not hide his satisfaction. Ahead of the home game against the Doosan Bears at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 10th, “The players (Park Young-hyun and Kang Baek-ho) came to say hello and say they had a good trip. They congratulated us, told us that the future is bright, and told us to play better baseball,” Young-hyun said. “He will definitely pitch today (10th). He pitched 5 innings (in Hangzhou), so I plan to pitch 5 innings today as well,” he joked with a smile. On this day, Park Young-hyun is waiting to pitch in relief, and Kang Baek-ho is starting as the designated hitter at number 6.

Park Young-hyun’s performance was expected to some extent. Coach Lee said, “If I had seen (Park) Young-hyun soft, I would have been proud of him, but I thought he would naturally do that,” and “It was a young player and an international competition with a lot of pressure. Not only did he throw his own ball, but he had to throw more than that.” He applauded, saying, “He showed his skills. He should be considered a really good player.”

The praise continued. Coach Lee said, “He is a player with a very good mentality. If he loses the game, he is eliminated, and in the case of the game against Japan, he even played a closing role. It was amazing to see him finish the game with a double play.” He added, “He originally had a strong mentality. That’s why I hired him.” It was said.

He commented that the experience from last season’s fall would have been of great help. Park Young-hyun, a graduate of Yushin High School, joined KT as a first-round pick last year. He pitched 52 games and 51⅔ innings during the regular season, with one loss and two holds, and an earned run average of 3.66. In the postseason, he pitched 4 games, 4⅔ innings, had 1 hold, 1 save, and had an ERA of 3.86. At that time, in the second game of the semi-playoffs against Kiwoom Heroes, he took the mound in relief following starting pitcher Wes Benjamin and maintained a 2-0 victory with two scoreless innings. He set the record for the youngest postseason save ever at the age of 19 years and 6 days.

Coach Lee said, “After playing in the postseason last year, we performed well this year. I think it was a valuable experience to play in a big game and achieve good results. We were shaken up for a while right after the All-Star break this year, but we overcame it well.”

This season, Park Young-hyun boasted 3 wins, 3 losses, 32 holds, 4 saves, and an ERA of 2.82 in 73 1/3 innings in 67 games. He surpassed 30 holds in a season for the first time since his debut. The Hold King is also in sight. There is a difference of 4 points from 2nd place Noh Kyung-eun (SSG). Given the remaining game conditions, if Park Young-hyun adds a hold against Suwon Doosan on this day, he will win the title of hold king. KT can also secure second place on its own if it wins.

Park Young-hyun wants to continue the gold medal momentum.

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