“It definitely made me realize that it’s not easy to succeed in the pros.”
The NC Dinos won their home game against the Doosan Bears 6-5 on April 24 at NC Park in Changwon.
The rookie saved the day. The game was tied 3-3 and heading into extra innings. In the top of the 11th inning, Doosan took a 5-3 lead on a two-run home run by pinch-hitter Heo Kyung-min. Late in the game, it’s not easy for NC to bring back the momentum.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, NC had another chance as Park Min-woo singled, Martin walked, and Kwon Hee-dong singled to load the bases.
At the plate was Park Han-yeol, who had pinch-hit for Park Gun-woo in the bottom of the 10th. Park, who was drafted in the second round (14th overall) of the 2023 KBO Draft, received his first call-up to the first team on March 23. In the Futures League, he played in 68 games and batted 2-for-6. NC head coach Kang Myung-hyun introduced Park as “a player with long batting power.”
His first at-bat was watched by his family. Park showed off his strengths. Three sliders put runners on 1B and 2S. The fourth fastball came in. Park spun his bat wildly, and the ball went right down the middle of the plate. Two runners crossed the plate with ease, and the Doosan broadcast was a little off on the play. After stepping on third base, Kwon Hee-dong hesitated, then raced home and threw at the last second. The result was safe. NC won 6-5.
Doosan-NC at NC Park in Changwon on the 24th. Park Han-geol celebrates after hitting a game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning.안전놀이터
Doosan-NC game at Changwon NC Park on Thursday. Park Han-geup hugs Park Min-woo after hitting the winning run in the 11th inning. Changwon=Jung Jae-geun Reporter email@example.com/2023.9.24/
“I’ve only done it in practice games when I was an amateur,” said Park, who was drenched in water after the game. “I thought I scored a run because the outfielder ran. I always imagined it and watched others do it, but I never thought it would happen to me. I feel so good and can’t wait to see my family,” he laughed.
The single came on an unfavorable pitch count. “After the first two strikes, my heart was in my throat. It was the first time I saw the ball, and I thought it would be difficult. I realized that it’s not easy to be a professional when opportunities don’t always come your way.”
He continued, “Before the game, Park Min-woo told me not to time my swings to the fastball, but to swing even if I miss. Coach Song Ji-Man also told me to never miss a fastball. “At first, I was laughing at my own swing because I thought I should know better,” he said, “but then I realized that I was missing the fastball. The fastball was so obvious. I thought he was going to throw it backwards, but he was shaking his head a lot. As soon as I saw it, I hit it.”
“I thought it was a chance, but it was too important for me to come up here,” said Park, who was the hero of the game-winning run just two days after being called up to the first team. “I asked my seniors a lot,” he said, “because it was late in the season and we were struggling to compete in the standings, so I thought I should take care of the team. “I asked a lot of my seniors, because if I suddenly came up at a crucial time and lost because of me, my ranking would drop, so I focused more.
“I think I can hit long shots and run, and that’s my biggest advantage,” Park said, adding, “I haven’t won a championship since I was an amateur, and I really want to win a championship trophy in the pros.”