‘Master of the Comeback’ fame…Gunsan Sang-il wins fourth presidential title with thrilling ninth-inning finish

The reputation of the ‘master of reversal’ has not faded. Even after the school changed its name, Gunsan Sang-il-go remained a master of reversal. The team came from behind to win the presidential championship after an all-out battle with a beast on the mound.

Gunsan Sangil-Go defeated Incheon Go 11-10 in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final of the 57th Presidential Baseball Championship at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Thursday. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Park Chan-woo ended the game with a big hit that landed near the left field fence.

Gunsan Sangil High School is a traditional powerhouse, having won the President’s Cup three times as Gunsan Sangil High School, but the last time was in 1986. This year, the team experienced the thrill of winning its first title since changing its name to Gunsan Sangilgo.

Incheon Go struck first in the first inning, capitalizing on a bad pitch from Gunsan Sangil Go starter Lee Byung-joo. With runners on first and second in the first inning, Kim Ji-seok singled up the middle. The lightly hit ball sailed just over the second baseman’s height and landed in front of the center fielder, giving Incheon the lead. Lee Tae-oh drew a walk to load the bases, and Kim Jun-won followed with an RBI double to make the score 3-0.

Before the first inning was over, Gunsan Sangilgo brought in their second pitcher, ace Park Seung-ho. Park struck out Lee Woo-jun on a wild pitch to end the inning. In their next at-bat, Gunsan Sangilgo had runners on first and third with one out. The fourth batter, Kang Min-je, singled up the middle to bring in a run.

Both teams finished the second inning scoreless. But the lull was short-lived. In the top of the third inning, Incheon’s leadoff hitter Han Kyu-hyuk hit a long ball. He used his long legs to reach third base. With the bases loaded, Lim Gyu-young lined a single over the second base line to make it 4-1.

Gunsan Sang-il wasn’t done. In the bottom of the third inning, they drew three walks to load the 꽁머니지급 bases. Choi Siwon was hit by a pitch and easily scored a run. Another walk loaded the bases, and a grounder to the shortstop by Min-Kook bounced big, allowing the third baseman to come home and tie the score at 3-4.

Even though the school changed its name, its reputation as a “master of reversal” remained the same. Gunsan Sangil High School turned the game around in the bottom of the fifth inning. Min-gook’s misplayed hit led to a tying run’s single that fell between the second baseman and right fielder. With the bases loaded, Lee Jun-woo picked up a pushing double to make the score 5-4.

The tie didn’t last long. With runners on first and second in the top of the sixth inning, tied 5-5, Min-Kook singled to left to regain the lead. In the ensuing at-bat, Park Chan-woo drew a walk against reliever Jung Hyun-woo to extend the lead. Lee Jun-woo’s grounder to shortstop allowed the runner from third to score, and an error by the second baseman gave Gunsan Sangilgo a 9-5 lead. This was the most lopsided score of the game.

There was a crisis until the end. Gunsan Sangil tied the game at 10-10 in the eighth inning. Two innings later, the team was short of pitchers, so Kang Min-je, who was playing third base, came in. Kang Min-je threw a wild pitch that allowed a runner to score from third base, tying the game.

However, the eighth-inning tie was just the beginning of Gunsan Sangilgo’s dramatic victory. Kang Min-je took the mound in the top of the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning. The infielder neatly handled the first batter’s grounder to the pitcher.

In the bottom of the ninth, leadoff hitter Lim Ju-hwan hit a sharp single to left field. An error and a bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out. Kim Jong-hoo had a chance to close out the game against Koo Gyo-jin, and he hit a hard line drive to center field, but it was blocked by Incheon’s outfield defense. The next batter, Park Chan-woo, ended the game with a big hit to center field.

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