Historic win for Korean club
22 November 2018
Perhaps in deference to the occasion, Geelong-Korea – one of two new clubs recently admitted to Australian Baseball League – made light of breezy, cool and ultimately soggy conditions at Waurn Ponds this evening, smashing a shell-shocked Perth Heat 7-1 to create history with its first win in its first official home game.
Coming off four straight losses to Sydney in Round One, Geelong-Korea was a markedly different proposition playing at Waurn Ponds for the first time, and the contrast from Blacktown last week – especially in offence – could hardly have been more pronounced.
On song from the outset under iconic Manager Dae-Sung Koo, Geelong-Korea starter Jin-Yong Jang was accorded decisive run support in the bottom of two, when Tae-Joon Lim doubled to leftfield before rightfielder Kwang-Min Kwon drove a two-run shot over the right-centre wall and Sung-Gu Han followed up with a solo blast over left-centre.
With Heat starter Robert Garcia already under the pump, there was no respite in the third, as Geelong-Korea piled on another four runs – including a bases-clearing double by Dae-Gun Kook that spelled the end for Garcia.
It was an emphatic offensive outburst by a Geelong-Korea outfit that struck out twenty-one times in its first game at Blacktown and could muster just four runs in total over that four game series.
Despite Perth centrefielder Carl Chester going deep in the fourth, Jang was spinning a blinder against a potent Heat offence that has seemingly been delivered a reality check after sweeping Auckland in Perth last weekend – tonight against a side that had already been written off by some pundits.
While Ryan Flores and Scott Mitchinson held sway for Perth after the early onslaught, Jang was relieved after six superb innings (four hits, two walks and three punchouts for one earned run) and Byeong-Geun Kim escaped a potential jam when his infield turned a quality double play as the rain intervened in the middle of seven.
With the weather setting in – and with three more games still to play on the beautifully presented and manicured stadium surface – officials, after a lengthy delay, quite properly called the game, which had already reached legal status.
Carding the win for Geelong-Korea, Jang was the star of the evening, along with Kwon (three hits and three RBIs – including the homer), Kook (one and three), Han (two and one – including the bomb) and Seung-Hun Kim (two and one), while Chester was the best of a Heat offence that could muster just five knocks. GAME ONE BOX SCORES
This series will continue at Geelong Baseball Centre on Friday night (starting at 6.30 pm) with Games Three and Four scheduled for Saturday (7.00 PM) and Sunday (1.00 PM).
Joe Vella (SMP Images)