Choi throws 5.1 scoreless innings in comeback win over LG

After returning from military service, Choi Chae-heung (Samsung Lions) pitched well in his comeback game.

Choi took the mound for the Samsung Lions against the LG Twins in the 2023 KBO Baseball Classic at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on 13 March.

Choi, who made his professional debut in the 2018 season, is a left-hander with a 26-22 record and a 4.18 ERA in 403 innings pitched in 88 games (65 starts). He enlisted in the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce) after the 2021 season and was discharged from the military the previous day (12), so he took the mound immediately.

He was able to step onto the first team mound right out of the military, thanks in large part to his recent stint in the starting rotation for the Commerce. Add to that the fact that he has fond memories of facing LG. Choi Jae-heung threw his first career complete game against LG on 30 September 2020 in Jamsil.

Samsung coach Park Jin-man said before the game, “(Choi Chae-heung) showed a majestic appearance because he went to the army. (His body) seems to be better. His shoulders are broader, and he had a little bit of baby fat before he went to the army, but he’s been training a lot and seems to have built up his muscles well. I think the company has given him good systematic training,” he said, explaining why he chose Choi Chae-heung as the starter, saying, “He showed confidence in the LG game even before he went to the army.” 먹튀검증

And he pitched perfectly in line with his commander’s expectations. In the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Hong Chang-ki, but induced Shin Min-jae to fly out to shortstop and Kim Hyun-soo to fly out to centre field to end the inning with three outs. In the bottom of the second, he gave up a leadoff double to Austin Dean in left field, but retired Park Dong-won (grounder to third), Oh Ji-hwan (fly to centre) and Moon Bo-kyung (strikeout).

In the bottom of the third, he showed his crisis management skills. He got Lee Jae-won and Park Hae-min to ground out to third and fly out to left, but gave up singles to Hong Chang-ki (first baseman’s error) and Shin Min-jae (walk) to put runners on first and second. He stood firm and got Kim Hyun-soo to ground out to first to end the inning.

The bottom of the fourth was clean again. After inducing Austin to fly out to centre field, Park retired Dong-won Park and Oh Ji-hwan on back-to-back flies to right field for his first three-hit shutout of the night.

Crisis came again in the bottom of the fifth when Moon Bo-kyung, the leadoff hitter, hit a double to left-centre. Lee Jae-won followed with an infield single, but a walk to Park Hae-min put runners on first and second. But it didn’t collapse. He got Hong Chang-ki to fly out to left field and struck out pinch-hitter Kim Min-sung.

Choi Chae-heung, who also took the mound in the bottom of the sixth, got the leadoff hitter, Kim Hyun-soo, to fly out to third base before handing the ball over to the next pitcher, Kim Dae-woo.

His final line was 5.1 innings, three hits, two walks, two strikeouts and no runs, with a total of 92 pitches. Choi came off the mound with his team leading 1-0, so if Samsung can win without allowing the tying run to score, he will earn his first win of the season.

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