KBO League home run king Noh Shi-hwan put on an impressive display at the plate for the South Korean National Baseball Team as the No. 4 hitter.
Noh went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including a leadoff double, to lead South Korea to victory in the Asia-Pacific Baseball Championship (APBC) 2023 final against Japan at the Tokyo Dome on Monday.
With runners on first and second in the top of the third inning, Noh lined a Tatsuya Imai slider up the middle and pulled it hard for a two-run double to left-center field.
The two runs would be the only runs Korea would score in regulation, as Japan scored a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to send the game to extra innings.
Noh made his presence felt again in the top of the 10th inning. With two outs and a 3-2 lead after Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte Giants) singled, he pushed a Kojiro Yoshimura fastball over the plate to put runners on first and third. However, no follow-up hit would be forthcoming.
South Korea scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to fall to Japan, 3-4, but Noh’s performance was worthy of recognition. Noh is now 7-for-18 with four RBIs in four games. He struggled in the center field with Kang Baek-ho out with an injury.굿모닝토토 주소
Noh led a Korean batting lineup that struggled early and often in the tournament. He went 3-for-5 with a walk and an RBI in the first game of the tournament against Australia, which featured 12 team errors.
Against Japan, he went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, and against Chinese Taipei, he drove in the game’s first run with a clean single with runners on first and third. Once he got going, the Korean bats pounded out a team-high 10 hits in a 6-1 win over Chinese Taipei.
Noh carried his hot bat from last month’s Asian Games in Hangzhou (7-for-16, 6 RBI) to Tokyo, Japan. It’s a return to form for the No. 4 hitter, a position that has been absent since the retirement of Lee Dae-ho.
This year, Noh Si-hwan shed the label of “next generation” by hitting career highs in Korea. At just 22 years old, Noh finished the 2023 season with 31 home runs and 101 RBIs, leading the league in both home runs and RBIs.
He is only the third player in KBO history to lead the league in home runs before the age of 23, joining Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (21 in 1997) and KBO talent donor Jang Jong-hoon (22 in 1990). Noh is also the second-youngest player in KBO history to achieve 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, joining Lee Seung-yup, who hit 32 home runs and 114 RBIs at age 21 in 1997.
This year, Noh’s onslaught has taken him to Korea, China, and Japan. Noh’s sights are set on 2024. Not only will he have to defend his league home run title, but he’ll also be playing in the World Baseball Softball Federation Premier 12 in November.