A nine-inning complete game was thrown by Cheongnyonggi

A 105-pitch miracle. A nine-inning complete game was thrown by Cheongnyonggi.

Pyeongtaek Cheongdam High School defeated Kaesong High School 4-0 in the first round of the 79th Cheongryonggi National High School Baseball Championship and Weekend League Wangjung Wang Game (co-hosted by Chosun Ilbo, Sports Chosun, and the Korea Baseball Softball Association) at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday.

Pitcher Kang Byung-hyun was at the center of the victory. The right-handed sidearm was the starting pitcher for Cheongdam Go and went nine innings on his own.

His crisis management was outstanding, as he conserved his pitches without giving up a run, even with runners on base. In the bottom of the first inning, he gave up a single to leadoff hitter Park Seung-joo and a sacrifice bunt, but was able to retire two consecutive batters. In the second inning, he allowed a leadoff single to Kim Seung-ju, but was lucky to get the runner at second base, and then retired Cho Min-seong and Choi Jun-young on infield flies and groundouts.

After giving up a single to Shim Kang-bo with one out in the third inning,

He struck out Park Seung-ju and Kim Tae-yul before recording back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth and fifth innings. Meanwhile, Cheongdam Go scored the game’s first run. The team’s offense, which had been stagnant until the fourth inning, came alive to take a 1-0 lead, and Kang Byung-hyun’s pitching began to show more and more strength.

After giving up a leadoff single to Shim Kang-bo in the sixth inning, Kang retired the next three batters without allowing a run, and in the seventh inning, he was fortunate to prevent a stolen base after a one-out walk loaded the bases. The focus of his teammates helped him.

After a triple play in the eighth inning, Byung-hyun Kang pitched the final out of the ninth inning with Cheongdam leading 4-0. The score was safe, 고스톱 온라인 and it was now a battle with Byung-hyun Kang himself.

A leadoff single by Park Seung-joo looked like it might be the end of Wanbong, but the bench didn’t change pitchers. With the count approaching 100 pitches, he got Kim Tae-yul to foul out to third base and Kim Min-joon to fly out to right field, leaving him with 102 pitches, just three short of his 105-pitch limit.

Three pitches to end the game with the last batter.

Otherwise, Cheongdam Go would be forced to change pitchers. Kang Byung-hyun threw back-to-back strikes against the last batter, Yeo Ji-hwan, with one, two, and then one last pitch. Yeo Ji-hwan hit the ball right down the middle and it was caught on a fly to center field, ending the game. Kang’s final line was 9 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 1 strikeout, 1 hit by pitch. He threw 105 pitches for the complete game win.

Kang had previously tossed a nine-inning, one-run complete game for the Golden Lion in 2022 when he was a sophomore. At the time, Cheongdam High School had just reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 National Championships for the first time since its inception, and after a year off due to surgery, Byung-hyun Kang started the first game of the Cheongryonggi season as a junior and threw a complete game again.

Since 2018, when high school baseball introduced a 105-pitch-per-day limit, nine-inning complete games have been hard to come by, especially at the national level. It takes a team effort and opposing batters working in fastball counts.

You need luck, and that’s exactly what Byung-hyun Kang had.

“I was lucky,” Byung-hyun Kang said in the postgame interview. I had three pitches left at the end, so I threw strikes to get it over as quickly as possible. I was able to finish it off thanks to the batter’s quickness. The score was close, so I thought I could take one hit, so I just went in fast,” he smiled. His teammates gave him a souvenir of his victory.

After completing her sophomore year, she underwent ligament reconstruction surgery for an elbow injury in March last year. “At first, I was discouraged because I didn’t expect the injury, but once I got it, I thought I would just play another year. I completed my rehabilitation well and now I feel like I’m back on track,” he smiles.

Kang, a sidearm, has a fastball that sits in the low 130s. On this day, his fastball touched 133 kilometers. But he is confident in his secondary pitches. He utilizes the strengths of his sidearm to his advantage, and he has been strong in big games. “My favorite pitcher is Ko Young-pyo of KT Wiz,” Kang said. His pitching style is different from mine, but there are still many things I want to learn from him in terms of his fastball and changeup,” he said, adding, “I’m also confident in my control, even though the ball isn’t fast.”

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