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“I think I would have rounded the (first) base no matter what.”

Doosan Bears infielder Kang Seung-ho, 29, was on the verge of becoming the first player in KBO history to reach the milestone. A team victory was more important than an individual record. Doosan played the first game of a season-defining three-game series against the KIA Tigers in Gwangju on April 15. Before the game, Doosan was in sixth place and KIA was in fourth. Only one game separated the two teams. If Doosan dropped this weekend’s three-game series, they would be eliminated from fall baseball.

The record Kang Seung-ho was trying to break was the “reverse cycle. A hit for the cycle is when a player hits a single, double, triple, and home run in any order in a game. A hit for the cycle completed by hitting a single, double, triple, and home run in that order is called a natural cycle, while a hit for the cycle completed by hitting a home run, double, triple, and single in that order is called a reverse cycle. The KBO does not recognize the reverse cycle as an official record. No player has ever done it before Seung-ho Kang.

Kang Seung-ho activated the home run machine in the top of the third inning with the score tied 1-1. Two batters later, he stole a home run to left off KIA starter Yoon Young-cheol. With the count at 0-1, he took a two-pitch changeup high and away. It was a big hit that gave Doosan a 2-1 lead.

After warming up with the home run, Kang Seung-ho’s bat got hotter and hotter. In the bottom of the fourth inning, starter Brandon Waddell gave up a two-run homer to KIA’s Lee Woo-sung to cut the deficit to 2-5. With runners on first and third after a single and stolen base by Yang Ji-ji and a walk by Kim Jae-hwan, Kang Seung-ho hit a two-run triple to right-center field to make it 4-5. He tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single to center field. It’s no exaggeration to say that Kang Seung-ho’s triple was the game-winning hit. 메이저사이트

In the top of the seventh inning, he took another step closer to the record. One out later, Seung-ho Kang hit a double down the left field line, putting him just one hit away from a hit for the cycle, and heading into the top of the ninth tied at 6-6. One out later, Jose Rojas drew a walk. Doosan needed more than a single to win the game. Kang Seung-ho knew in his heart that he had to hit a long ball no matter what.

But the heavens did not allow him to hit a long ball. Kang Seung-ho’s shot deflected in front of KIA closer Jung Hae-young and rolled in front of the first baseman for an infield single. It was the final piece of the puzzle, a single, and the first reverse cycle since the KBO’s inception in 1982. With the bases loaded, Kim In-tae and Park Jun-young drew back-to-back walks to give Doosan an 8-6 victory. The five-game winning streak didn’t move Doosan out of sixth place, but it did bolster their hopes for a top-five finish by eliminating the gap between them and Kia, who dropped to fifth.

After completing his first career hit for the cycle with a reverse cycle, Kang Seung-ho said, “I was aware of (the record), but it’s not like the team can afford it.


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