It was NC first baseman Oh Young-soo (23) who gave Hanwha’s monster rookie pitcher Kim Seo-hyeon (19) the first home run in his debut. He is overcoming growing pains by overcoming the nightmare of 27 hits in a row.
Oh Young-soo hit a two-run home run against Kim Seo-hyun in the 8th inning against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 28th. In the 8th inning, leading 4-2, with 2 outs and 1 base, Kim Seo-hyun pulled a 153 km fastball that came in low on the outside of the 3rd pitch and crossed the right middle wall. Distance 120m, season 3 home run. It was a wedge that opened the score to 6-2. It became a more meaningful home run as NC won 6-4.
This home run was also the first home run in the first team debut of Kim Seo-hyun, a special rookie who was nominated as the first overall in 2023. Kim Seo-hyun, who had not hit a single home run until high school, recorded his first home run in his 19-year-old baseball career after joining the pros. In the Futures League match against Doosan held in Seosan on the 8th, Hong Seong-ho hit his first home run. 20 days after that, he tasted his first home run in his first team.
Oh Young-soo, who gave Kim Seo-hyun the first home run, actually made a bunt action on the first pitch. Although it was 2 companies and 1st base, it was aimed at a gap in the Hanwha defensive shift, which was focused on the right side with 3rd base empty. However, Kim Seo-hyun’s first fastball came in quickly, and it became a swinging bunt.
After the game, Oh Young-soo said, “Recently, there have been many regrettable situations in which our team did not score well in chances. In preparation for the Hanwha shift, he tried to get on base with a surprise bunt and connect to a scoring opportunity, but the first pitch was a miss. (Kim Seohyun’s) ball was better than I thought. On the second pitch, the fastball also failed, so I tried to swing harder on the third pitch. I turned it quickly with the thought that I had to produce an in-play batted ball, and it became a home run,” he explained.
Although he was put on an unfavorable count with two strikes, Oh Young-soo was not pushed back and made a stronger swing. Hanwha catcher Choi Jae-hoon demanded a high fastball, but Kim Seo-hyun’s ball went low on the outside. It was not a misfire driven into the middle, but the opposing pitch hit right in front of Oh Young-soo’s hitting point and became a home run. Oh Young-soo won in the ‘power vs. power’ fight.
In fact, until recently, Oh Young-soo suffered a severe blow slump. From the last two at-bats against Munhak SSG on the 16th to the Gwangju KIA game on the 26th, he showed an extreme slump with no hits in 27 consecutive at-bats. With only two walks on base, excluding two sacrifice bunts and one sacrifice fly, he went hitless in 22 consecutive at-bats.
In the first 10 games of the season, he played an active role with a batting average of 3.44 (11 hits in 32 at-bats), 2 homers, 6 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.010. By the 26th, the batting average for the season dropped to .577 with an OPS of .577. However, on the 27th, he got out of the long tunnel with a right-handed hit in the 3rd inning against KIA. Then, on the 28th, against Hanwha, he announced a rebound with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and 1 walk in 3 at-bats, including a home run. 안전놀이터
Oh Young-soo said, “I didn’t have luck, but (as the no-hit streak went on), it was even more difficult as I began to doubt myself and not believe in myself. Even with two strikes, the bat did not come out and I struck out a lot from looking. He said, “It’s difficult to say deeply, but it got better as a hit came out in the first at-bat (before KIA on the 27th) after making a change (technically).”
He faltered with six errors in defense at first base as much as in batting. In the match against Changwon Lotte on the 22nd, his mentality collapsed due to as many as three mistakes. However, against Hanwha on the 28th, after throwing herself at Jung Eun-won’s hit ball in the 6th inning and catching the bound, he connected the toss to first base to prevent a run and increase the out count.
Oh Young-soo said, “I always defend with the thought that the ball will come to me. There were a lot of left-handed hitters in Hanwha, so preparing was a good result.” “It feels like I finished the season in one month of April. Every day feels long. He’s been through the good times and the bad, and he’s learned to do it without the emotional ups and downs. (Kang In-kwon) I am grateful that the coach gave me a chance, and I have no choice but to do better in return.”