Wednesday, 24th April 2024

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This is the story of Oh Jae-il of the Samsung Lions.

Samsung escaped from two consecutive losses and succeeded in dominating the series by winning 6-5 in Game 13 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season at Daegu Samsung Lions Park on the 15th.

In particular, in the bottom of the eighth inning, when the team was leading 4-3, the necessary score came out. Oh Jae-il, who appeared with one out and a full base, hit a two-run timely hit against Choi Dong-hwan. The ball deflected off first baseman Austin Dean’s mitt and flowed into the outfield, and in the meantime, two runners stepped home. Considering that he gave two runs in the top of the ninth inning, Samsung could not have ended its losing streak without Oh Jae-il’s wedge RBI.

Moreover, it was more meaningful that Oh Jae-il was the main character of the RBI. He stepped down with a rookie strikeout in the bottom of the second inning with two outs and runners on first and third base, and struck out with two outs and runners on first and second base in the bottom of the sixth inning, throwing two scoring opportunities in vain. The final performance was one hit and two RBIs in four at-bats, but a timely hit came at the most decisive moment.

Oh Jae-il, who had more regrets about not saving the opportunity than the joy of a timely hit, said, “I couldn’t save two chances, so I really wanted to solve it in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out, but I felt good with the RBI.”

Oh Jae-il, who has been suffering from sluggishness and injury “dual pain” since the opening of the season, is still staying at a batting average of 10%. His performance this season is 44 hits in 239 at-bats in 73 games, batting 0.184 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs, which is somewhat sluggish compared to previous years.

Oh Jae-il also said, “I’m continuing to practice thinking that this season was a bad season for me, and I’m preparing hard to take my swing from the batter’s box,” adding, “I had a hard time and I’m still a little hard, but I think I’m better than the beginning as much as I can when I get hurt.” At the same time, he said, “I’m getting hits one by one.”

The head coach is looking positively. Before the game, when asked about Oh Jae-il, Samsung manager Park Jin-man said, “Still, I think I’m getting a good balance compared to my bad appearance in the beginning,” adding, “I also played my career, but if I get a big home run or a missed ball that would have been in a slump, I’ll have some balance from the next time.” “I think the more I play, the better it will be than the beginning,” he said, expressing his belief.

As the number of young players on the team increases, generational changes are taking place naturally, but it is also true that a veteran player is needed to play a central role in this case. Not only the coaching staff but also young players feel this. Above all, the player himself is more desperate than anyone else. With the season nearing the end, attention is being paid to whether Oh Jae-il will be able to make up for his disappointment.

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