The NC Dinos, with one of the top batting lineups in the KBO, used their fearsome focus to shut down the KT Wiz’s William Cuevas.
NC scored eight runs in the top of the fourth inning to beat KT 9-5 in the first game of the best-of-three KBO playoffs (PO-5) at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday.
On the day that ace Eric Peddie made his first start in 14 days after nursing a bruised right forearm, NC dominated with a perfect combination of Peddie’s dazzling performance, which saw him strike out 12 and give up just one run, and the bats’ early-inning smashing strategy.
Pedi, who won the triple crown of wins (20), ERA (2.00), and strikeouts (209), washed away any on-field concerns and set a new PO record for most strikeouts in a game (12) and showed off his best pitching performance of the year with a six-inning, one-run shutout.
It was the timely hitting of long balls and singles that put a chip on Pedi’s shoulder.
This year’s regular-season batting leader Son Ah-seop (0.339), eighth-ranked Park Min-woo (0.316) and seventh-ranked Park Gun-woo (0.319) combined for six hits, three RBIs and five runs scored as NC’s No. 1-3 hitters.
Son As-seop paced the offense with three hits and two runs scored, while Park Min-woo followed with two hits and two runs scored.
Park Gun-woo had two RBIs and Jason Martin had one to capitalize on the table-setters’ chances.
NC batters one through five combined to drive in seven of the nine runs, including a 3-for-3 performance from Kwon Hee-dong in the No. 5 spot.
In the semi-finals, NC scored first to take the lead in the best-of-three series and held on for the win, defeating SSG Landers in three games.
The bats of NC’s 1-3 hitters have been very hot this fall.
In five games, including the wild card decider, semi-playoffs, and first round of the playoffs, Son is batting .391 (9-for-23) with five runs scored, while Park Min-woo is batting .389 (7-for-18) with five runs scored.
The hottest of the bunch, Park Gun-woo, batted .400 (8-for-20) with six runs scored and five RBIs to lead NC’s offense.
After the game, Son explained the trio’s synergistic effect, saying, “I think I can be more relaxed at the plate because I have two good hitters behind me, so I can be less greedy, and the pitchers are more competitive with me, so there are more mistakes, which is also an advantage for me.” 토토사이트