SSG presents first victory in ‘Lee Sung-yong derby’

The ‘Lee Sung-yong Derby’ ends with a victory for Lee

SSG Landers, led by coach Lee Sung-yong, won the first game of the exhibition. The opponent was KT Wiz, a team that Lee worked with for more than a decade as a manager and coach.

SSG won 3-0 against KT at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on Nov. 11, thanks to Choi Jeong-jeong’s three-run homer and the one-two punch of Elias and Kim Kwang-hyun.

The SSG started the season with a fresh start under Lee, who made his managerial debut last weekend against the Lotte Giants in a two-game series that the SSG lost, but rebounded with a one-run victory.

Lee had a longtime nemesis in Suwon before becoming SSG manager.

He began his coaching career as KT’s batting coach in 2014 after retiring from baseball, and in 2019, he served as the team’s manager for three years, wearing a “winning manager” business card. However, he stepped down as manager shortly after the championship season and moved into the role of head of development, and after coaching players in Iksan for two years, he left KT at the end of last year. However, he was called by SSG, who suddenly had a vacancy in the head coach position, and made a ‘golden homecoming’ to Suwon.

“I’ve been here for more than 10 years, 스포츠토토 but it feels new to be in the away dugout,” Lee said before the game. KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol, who faced Lee as an opposing coach after working as a head coach, said, “I didn’t have any special thoughts. I was only thinking about how strong we were against SSG,” he said.

“It was an exhibition game, so it doesn’t really matter if we win or lose, but the game was very fast-paced. The batters were aggressive because the pitchers of both teams had good pitches and control, but the weather was chilly, so the bats came out aggressively. From the beginning of the game, most of the games were easily won within three pitches.

In particular, KT’s batters were no match for SSG’s ace pitchers Elias and Kim Kwang-hyun.

Kim was originally scheduled to pitch on the 12th, but due to a rain forecast on the 12th, he was moved up a day to pitch in the game. Elias pitched a perfect game with four innings and three strikeouts. Kim Kwang-hyun also pitched three innings, giving up two hits but striking out two and walking four.

SSG’s batters were no match for KT’s Cuevas’ strong stuff. They managed just three hits against Cuevas, who went four innings. However, they won the battle of concentration. In the third inning, with runners on first and second, Choi Ji-jung hit the game-winning single to bring in Choi Ji-hoon from second base.

The pitcher’s duel turned into a pitcher’s duel in the seventh inning. KT sent Moon Yong-ik, who was brought in as compensation for Kim Jae-yoon, to pitch for the first time in the exhibition game, and he faltered, allowing SSG to score another run. Moon’s wild pitch and a double steal that caught the opponent off guard scored two runs.

SSG brought in Noh Kyung-eun in the eighth and Moon Seung-won in the ninth to close out the game. They held the KT bats to three hits in nine innings. KT had to be satisfied with testing their left-handed pitchers, Sung Jae-heon and Jeon Dae-joo, who hadn’t had a chance to pitch before.

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