An emotional debut win. When Hwang Dong-ha, 22, of the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), thought of his father, he thought of his father first.

Hwang Dong-ha started the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League regular-season game against the NC Dinos at NC Park in Changwon on April 18 and threw 98 pitches over five innings, allowing two runs on five hits (one home run) with one walk, four strikeouts, and four strikeouts in a 7-2 victory. Hwang, a seventh-round pick in the second round of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, picked up his first career win in his third year.

Hwang seized the opportunity as a substitute starter and had been pitching consistently well of late. In the first game of the SSG doubleheader in Gwangju on April 12, he came off the mound with a chance to get his first win with five innings of two-hit ball with two strikeouts and one run, but the bullpen was unable to protect the lead, resulting in a no-decision.

But this day was different. Choi Hyung-woo’s two-run triple in the top of the first inning gave Hwang Dong-ha the lead. Two batters later, Park gave up a double to left field to Gun-woo Park. With two on and one out, Davidson threw a three-pitch, 134-kilometer slider on a one-pitch, one-strike count for a two-run double to left. He then gave up a single to Kwon Hee-dong, but got Kim Sung-wook to ground out to first base to end the inning.

After the first inning, Hwang Dong-ha regrouped. In the second inning, he got Park Se-hyeok to fly out to center, Kim Joo-won to ground out to second base, and Do Tae-hoon to fly out to right field for a triple play. In the third, the leadoff hitter Son As-seob singled to center, but Seo Ho-cheol flied out to right field and Park Geon-woo struck out to end the inning with three outs.

The bats came alive in the top of the fourth inning, scoring three runs to take a 5-2 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Davidson, but got both Kwon Hee-dong and Kim Sung-wook to fly out to center field for the second out. A single to center by Park Se-hyuk put runners on second and third, but he got Kim Joo-won to ground out to short to end the threat.

The long-awaited fifth inning. Do struck out Tae-hoon Do and got Son As-seob to ground out to second base. Two batters later, it was not easy against Seo Ho-chul. After an 11-pitch battle with Seo, he gave up a walk. It looked shaky. But he retired Park Gun-woo on a fly ball to right field to end the fifth inning. The offense added two more runs in the top of the sixth to give 바카라사이트 Hwang a comfortable lead, and the bullpen closed out the game to secure the debut win. After the game, his teammates doused him with water and rosin to celebrate his debut win.

“I thought a lot about this situation when I started pitching in high school and got my first win,” Hwang said after the game. “I had a good imagination and worked out, and I think it turned out well,” he said. “In my last start, I came down in a situation where I could get my first win, but it was reversed. This time, I think I was more nervous,” he laughed.

In his last two starts, he hasn’t gotten the win after five innings. His brothers told him, “It’s not easy to win your debut. You have to go through twists and turns,” they told her, but she smiled as she earned her first win.

Kim Do-young, who joined the team in 2022, predicted Hwang’s first win on this day. “In the last game, I jokingly said, ‘I feel like I’m pitching well, but I’m not feeling it,'” Kim said. “I pitched well, but I didn’t get the win. Today, I said I felt really good, and it seems to be true,” he said, congratulating his teammate on his first win.

Last winter, Hwang Dong-ha was invited by the club to train at Driveline, a baseball academy in Seattle, Washington, USA, with Jeong Jung-young, Yoon Young-chul and Lee Yi-ri Kwak-dogyu. “I had just started pitching in earnest, and I couldn’t say that I learned professionally,” he says, “but I did a lot of corrections and learned how to throw, including the details of my changeup, so I think I grew as a pitcher.

The moment of his first win. “I thought of my father first. He thanked his father, saying that he was able to grow up by looking at him. “I really think of him a lot,” he said. Every day he would go out at 6 a.m. and come back in around 2 a.m., the same time. I didn’t see his face much. It motivated me because he worked so hard. I think I threw well because I wanted to do my filial duty,” he said.

Despite his current status as a substitute, Hwang vowed to continue pitching without thinking about it. “When I hear the word ‘substitute,’ I think a lot of things that make me feel a little intimidated. There’s no law that says I can’t be a regular, so I aim to be a regular starter, so I throw as if I’m a player in the rotation, and I’ve gotten good results, so I’ll continue to throw like that,” he said encouragingly.

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