“I’m happy to announce that I’m one of the legendary 2019 draftees” What his first win in five years means to him
- on Sep 20, 2023
LG Twins’ Lee Ji-kang, 24, finally got his first win as a professional baseball player.
Lee pitched five innings of one-hit ball with one walk and no strikeouts against the KIA Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on April 19.
He started the season as a fifth starter before dropping to the second team as a reserve. In 17 appearances this season, he has a 3-1 record with no wins and a 3.97 ERA. Lee was called back to the first team in late August and made three appearances out of the bullpen in a long relief role, pitching 3⅓ scoreless innings.
When Choi Won-tae, who was acquired from Kiwoom, was sent down to the second team due to poor performance, Lee Ji-gang was given the opportunity to take over.
He pitched well against the KIA in Gwangju, finally earning his first career win.
Before the game, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “I hope Lee Ji-gang can keep pitching for a long time.” He got his wish.
Ji-gang gave up back-to-back singles to Na Sung-bum and Choi Hyung-woo in the first inning, but Kim Sun-bin grounded out to second base to end the first inning.온라인카지노
In the second inning, Socrates, Hwang Dae-in, and Han Seung-taek combined for a three-hit shutout. After taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning with a home run by Moon Bo-kyung, they were in trouble again two batters later when Kim Do-young walked and Na Sung-beom singled to right. In the fourth, Choi got Choi Hyung-woo to fly out to right field to end the threat.
Moon Bo-kyung’s back-to-back home runs made it 4-0. Lee Ji-gang settled down in the fourth inning. She retired Kim Sun-bin, Socrates, and Hwang Dae-in on a fly ball and a ground ball. In the fifth, he gave up a hit to Choi Won-jun with two outs, but got Kim Do-young to fly out to right field to complete his mission.
He threw 72 pitches. He used 43 fastballs up to 145 kilometers, four curves, six sliders, and 16 changeups to dominate the KIA lineup.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing to get his first win. Kia fought back hard. Choi Hyung-woo hit a solo home run in the sixth inning and Na Sung-beom’s RBI double in the eighth made it 4-3.
LG brought up Ko Woo-seok in the eighth and secured the win with a two-inning save.
After the game, Lee Ji-gang said, “I was thinking to myself, ‘It’s really hard to get the first win.’ At the end, (Go) Woo-seok, Min-jae-hyung, and the other guys did a great job. I still can’t believe it. I’m just so proud. There are many players who retire without a win, but I’m so honored and happy that I came to the pros and got one win,” he said.
Lee Ji-kang remembered pitching well against the Gwangju KIA on October 6 last year, throwing five innings and one run. It brought back good memories.
“I remembered that time and said, ‘I feel good today,’ and it led to a good result. I was thinking a lot about last year. I think it was good to go up there with a positive mindset like, ‘I did well last year, so I can do well today,'” he said.
LG’s 2019 rookie draft picks have been performing strongly. LG fans have nicknamed them the “Legendary 2019 Draft” (Lee Jung-yong in the first round, Lee Sang-young, Jung Woo-young, and Moon Bo-kyung in the second round).
Lee Ji-gang is another player who joined LG in the 9th round of the 2019 draft. However, while her peers were doing well, Lee Ji-gang was the only one who didn’t blossom. However, he was able to make up for it today.
He said, “I came to the first team a little late. Last year was a bit of an experience, and this year I’m doing it right. I always wanted to play with my teammates as soon as possible so I could be part of the legendary 2019 Draft. I got to do it this year, and Bo-Kyung did a great job today. I’m really proud of her, and I’m happy to announce that I’m also a 2019 Draftee now,” he smiled broadly.
Going forward, it’s still unclear whether Ji-gang will make the five-man rotation or go back to long relief. ”I’m ready for anything. Whether it’s the bullpen, starting, or any other position, I have no complaints. I’m not an established player yet. I’m just trying to pitch my best wherever the team wants me to pitch. I want to be able to pitch a lot in any situation. I hope you can use me anytime,” he concluded by appealing to manager Yoon Kyung-yup.