It ended like a ‘master of reversal’. Gunsan Sangilgo won its second consecutive high school alumni baseball tournament by defeating Daegu Sangwongo, led by Yang Jun-hyuk and An-man, in extra innings.
Gunsan Sangilgo won the title by defeating Daegu Sangilgo 9-8 in the final game (7 innings) of the 2023 No Brand Ship High School Alumni Baseball Tournament at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 28th.
The winning school, Gunsan Sangil High School, will receive 30 million won in scholarships, while the runner-up, Daegu Sangwon High School, will receive 15 million won in scholarships. The third-place team will also receive 7 million won, so the fruits of the seniors’ sweat will be passed on to the juniors.
The heroes from the first tournament dominated again. Starting pitcher Moon Yong-doo (48) threw a whopping 127 pitches in 6⅓ innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on 12 hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 90 of his 127 pitches for strikes and even drew an exclamation point from catcher Lee Man-soo (Daegu Sangwon Go) as he went the distance. Cha Jeong-guk (48) went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two stolen bases in the final, while Lee Woo-in (46) went 4-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Cha was named the tournament MVP after batting .571 (14-for-8) with one home run, six RBIs and three doubles in five games.
Moon Yong-doo, who had already won his previous four starts to lead Gunsan Sangil-Go to the finals, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher after allowing 15 runs (nine earned) in 22 1/3 innings over five games with 22 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA. “I’ve thrown more than 80 pitches in a game in this tournament, but I’ve never thrown more than 100 pitches before, so I don’t think my arm will be able to go up tomorrow,” Moon said after the game, laughing, “but I was encouraged because I was pitching for my alma mater with my seniors and juniors.”
One of the trickier opponents was Yang Jun-hyuk. Yang batted .688 (11-for-16) with three home runs and 14 RBIs in six games of the tournament, including a 1-for-1 performance in the final, to win the batting, RBI, and home run awards. “I participated in the last tournament as well, but this year’s Daegu Sangwongo was too strong, so I had a harder time than last year,” Moon said. When I throw a changeup or a fastball, other people are easily fooled, but Yang Jun-hyuk was rarely fooled. I tried a lot not to hit anything big, but I felt that he was a big star after all. I had a great game with no regrets,” he said. He continued, “My son is going to be a Gunsan merchant next year. I hope my son will play baseball with a little more confidence because I did this.”
Daegu Sangwon Go’s lineup consisted of Kim Min-yup (pitcher), Lim Cheon-soo (shortstop), Ahn Ji-jin (second baseman), Yang Jun-hyuk (first baseman), Kwon Sung-chan (right fielder), Shin Kyu-han (third baseman), Kwon Min-soo (center fielder), Kim Jae-hwan (catcher), and Oh Seung-hoon (left fielder). The starting pitcher was Kim Min-yup.
Gunsan Sangilgo’s lineup was Lee Hansol (shortstop), Noh Won-man (second base), Kim Yoo-seok (center field), Cha Jeong-guk (left field), Kim Sung-joo (catcher), Lee Woo-in (first base), Moon Yong-doo (pitcher), Baek Dong-hyun (third base), and Wang Yang-heon (right field). Moon Yong-doo was the starting pitcher.
Yang Jun-hyuk opened the scoring. With runners on second and third in the first inning after a double steal, Yang Jun-hyuk singled to left field to give Daegu Sangwon the lead. Kwon Sung-chan made it 2-0 with an infield single. It was unfortunate that the shortstop’s throw to first base was missed.
Gunsan Sangilgo scored right away. In the bottom of the first inning, leadoff hitter Lee Hansol singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Noh Him-chan also singled. Kim Yoo-seok and Cha Jeong-guk then hit back-to-back singles to tie the game at 2-2. Daegu Sangwongo got out of the jam with a pair of singles from second baseman Ahn Ji-man and first baseman Yang Jun-hyuk, who are also Samsung Lions seniors and juniors.
In the bottom of the third inning, with runners on second and third, Gunsan Sangwongo made it 4-2 when Wang Yang-hoon hit an RBI single to left field as pinch-hitter Kim Young-joo’s shot was not caught by second baseman Ahn Ji-man. However, Daegu Sangwon High School tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning when Kwon Min-soo singled down the first base line and Kim Jae-hwan doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no outs and an error by the opposing catcher. Gunsan Sang-il and catcher Kim Sung-ju threw to cover third base, but the throw sailed just outside the left field foul line, allowing runners from second and third to come home.굿모닝토토 도메인
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gunsan Sangsang Ilgoda fought back. Cha Jung-kook followed with a single to right field, stole second, and Lee Woo-in made it 5-4 with a single to right. It was a back-and-forth battle. In the top of the sixth inning, after Kwon Min-soo singled to center, Kim Jae-hwan singled to left, and Yang Jung-yeol sacrificed to load the bases, Kim Min-yeop doubled to center to make it 6-5.
It wasn’t enough for the ‘master of comebacks’. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Lee Woo-in tied the game at 6-6 with a double over the center fielder’s head, and Choi Ji-won made it 7-6 with a single up the middle. In their final at-bat in the top of the seventh, Daegu Sangwongo had runners on first and third after a wild pitch, and Shin Jae-han tied the game at 7-7 with a two-run double to left field. In the bottom of the seventh, center fielder Kwon Min-soo made a sliding catch of Kim Sung-joo’s hit with runners on second and third to extend the game.
Unlike Daegu Sangwongo, which could only score one run in the extra innings with runners on first and second base, Gunsan Sangilgo showed its concentration in the final inning. The center fielder, second baseman, and shortstop collided as they tried to catch Lee Woo-in’s bunt, leaving the bases loaded, and Moon Yong-doo and Choi Ji-won hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to the outfield to score two runs for a thrilling comeback win.