KT halts NC’s unrelenting advance. Ace Ko Young-pyo bounced back from a recent slump to secure the team’s No. 2 spot.
KT won 6-2 against NC in Changwon on the 13th. It was a matchup between the second- and third-place teams, with KT moving within half a game of NC with a win.
Ko Young-pyo, who had struggled in his last two appearances with six runs in the fifth inning and six runs in the sixth inning, showed his true colors. He gave up an early run in the first inning, but battled back to finish with two runs in six innings. It was his 19th quality start of the season (QS-6 innings, 3 earned runs or less), improving to 11-7. Faced nine hits through six innings and had a runner in scoring position in every inning except the second and sixth, but induced a grounder and a strikeout in each of those innings.
The pitching that comes to mind is from last month’s NC game. Back then, Ko was faced with 13 hits in seven innings, but he managed to hold them to just three runs with his trademark crisis management skills, earning a QS+ (7 innings, 3 earned runs or less).
KT’s offense struggled against NC starter Tanner Tully, scoring just two runs in the sixth inning, but then capitalized on the bullpen that came up. They scored in every inning from the seventh through the ninth, including a one-run homer by Park Byung-ho in the ninth.
NC’s offense came up short in the bottom of the sixth inning. Leadoff hitter Oh Young-soo singled, but pinch-hitter Park Young-bin failed to 안전놀이터 capitalize on the opportunity. Anticipating NC’s stealing maneuver, KT Battery caught the runner with time to spare. NC immediately gave up a run in the next inning and lost the game.
Second-place KT widened the gap to 1.5 games with third-place NC. They are 4.5 games behind leader LG, who did not play on the day. The win was a solid confidence boost against NC, who they could face in the postseason.
KT finished the season with a 10-6 record against NC. They went 1-5 in the first six games of the season against NC, but have since won all three three-game series, including two sweeps. They also won the season finale in a thrilling upset.