KT WIZ outfielder Bae Byeong-dae continued his dominance in the fall stage following the regular season.
In the third game of the playoffs (best-of-three PO-5) against the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park in Gyeongnam, South Korea, he hit a two-run home run in the second inning.
He is nicknamed “The Finisher” for his seven career game-winning hits, and he lived up to his name as his home run became the game-winner.
KT, who had been swept in the series, started the ‘reverse sweep’ with a single from Bae Ji-dae.
With the score tied at 0-0 in the top of the second inning, Bae took a 122-kilometer-per-hour slider from NC starter Tanner Tully and drove it over the left-field fence for a two-run arch.
It was the first time KT had taken the lead in the PO in three games after giving up the lead in each of the first and second games.
It fulfilled the wish of KT manager Lee Kang-cheol, who said, “I hope we can score early in the game today.”
Choi Jae-dae, who had set the tone for the team with a grand slam in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the PO, also became the first player in KT’s history to hit multiple home runs in a single postseason.
Two batters later in the bottom of the fourth inning, he lunged forward to catch NC’s Kwon Hee-dong’s line drive to center field.
The hit came after Kwon Hee-dong had hit six foul pitches, so it was a relief play for KT starter Ko Young-pyo.
Choi Jae-dae finished the day 1-for-2 with a home run, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.
His postseason numbers are now 9-for-4 with two home runs, two doubles, six RBIs and three runs scored.
He continued to play the same role in the fall as he did in the regular season.
Choi was only named to the first team roster on June 1 after fracturing the back of his left hand in an exhibition game in March of this year.
At the time, KT was at the bottom of the league with 16 wins, 29 losses, and two draws.
But after June 2, when Bae made his comeback game, KT started to rise, winning 63 games, losing 33, and drawing one in 97 matches, eventually finishing the regular season in second place.
In all 97 games, Bae played in 86 of them, batting .277 with 311 hits, 38 RBIs and 48 runs scored.
“Tanner has a quick motion with runners on first and second, and I was late on the first pitch,” he recalled of the home run, “so I thought I was going to throw a changeup for the second pitch, and it worked out well.”
“I think it’s a good win for us to go for the reverse sweep,” he said.
“The feeling of hitting wasn’t bad from the first game,” said Bae, “and the first hit of the playoffs came from (Eric) Pedi, so I was able to approach the plate with a relaxed mindset, which led to a good result.”
On his defensive play in Game 1, when he failed to glove NC’s Hee-dong Kwon’s two-run triple, he said, “It was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened. Even though she hit a home run in Game 1, I wasn’t happy at all,” he recalled, adding, “I focused on erasing the aftermath of the mistake because there was the next game.” 먹튀검증