First walk-off with a career batting average of 0.176 "dream scene"···But why did he say he wasn’t in a good mood? – Daily Sports VRESP

LG Koo Bon-hyuk is happy after hitting a walk-off hit on second and third base with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning of the NC game held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 4th. Jamsil = Reporter Jeong Si-jong

“Having a walk-off hit was something I always dreamed of. But I didn’t feel like it…”

LG Twins backup infielder Koo Bon-hyuk expressed his feelings of disappointment even after recording a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 11th inning. There was a reason.

Koo Bon-hyuk was the protagonist of the walk-off hit that put an end to the bloody battle that lasted 4 hours and 17 minutes in the home game against NC Dinos held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 4th. Koo Bon-hyuk, with a career batting average of 0.176, recorded his first walk-off moment six years after his professional debut. The moment the victory was confirmed, wild congratulations poured in from his colleagues, and Koo Bon-hyuk accepted it with his whole body.

After the game, Koo Bon-hyuk smiled brightly and said, “It was a dream scene.” He quickly added, “I don’t feel very good.”

This is because it was not the perfect ending scene I had pictured in my head. Koo Bon-hyuk said with embarrassment, “I got a lucky hit in a walk-off situation. It wasn’t the walk-off hit I had imagined. I wanted to hit a nice hit if possible, but I think the result was only good.”

Koo Bon-hyuk’s missed ball fell on an exquisite course and led to the finish. The ball Koo Bon-hyuk hit at the bottom of the 11th inning with one out and runners on second and third base exceeded the height of the first baseman and fell inside the foul line. It was a hit that neither Koo Bon-hyuk, the bench, nor the audience could guess was a hit, a foul, or a fly ball out. Koo Bon-hyuk explained, “When I hit the batted ball, I thought, ‘I’m in big trouble.’ But I’ve been hitting it a little far lately, and right fielder (Park) Geon-woo is very far behind me. When I saw the opponent’s defensive position, I thought, ‘This is enough.'”

Photo = provided by LG

Although it was not the thrilling ending moment he had expected, Koo Bon-hyuk confirmed his ‘confidence’ and ‘belief’.

Koo Bon-hyuk is the top infield backup. Since his first year in the team in 2019 (2nd 6th round), he has played an active role as a defender and pinch runner. Koo Bon-hyuk had 238 at-bats in 305 games in 2019-21. His batting ability was poor compared to his defensive ability, so he had fewer at-bats compared to the games he played. Koo Bon-hyuk learned hitting techniques using his lower body at the Sangmu baseball team and was discharged from the military in November of last year.

Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop predicted, “Koo Bon-hyuk will be able to seize many opportunities this season.” This is because they want to strengthen the physical strength and condition of the starting infielder and at the same time increase the competitiveness of right-handed hitter Koo Bon-hyuk against left-handed pitchers. This decision was made after confirming Koo Bon-hyuk’s improvement in batting.

NC and LG game held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the afternoon of the 4th. LG Koo Bon-hyuk is happy after hitting a walk-off hit in the 11th inning with one out and runners on second and third base. Jamsil = Reporter Jeong Si-jong

Koo Bon-hyuk entered the game as a defensive player in the top of the 10th inning and took his first at-bat in the bottom of the 11th inning. He said, “There were two fielders left. If it were like before, they would have been replaced by pinch hitters in this situation,” he said. “A few years ago, I was happy even if I got a lucky hit. Now, I also think about the quality of the batted ball.”

A defensive infielder, he has a batting average of 0.385 (5 hits in 13 at-bats) this year, his first season after being discharged from the Sangmu baseball team. He said, “I’ve definitely become more confident in my batting this season. My mindset has changed,” and added, “I think I’ll have more opportunities and appearances in games if my batting is supported. I’ll continue to show good batting against left-handed pitchers.”

Reporter Lee Hyeong-seok [email protected]

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