Choi Seung-yong (22, Dusan), who started playing baseball as a hobby, made an impressive national team debut at the Tokyo Dome, the mecca of Japanese baseball.
Choi pitched 1⅔ innings of one-hit ball with two walks and four strikeouts in relief of Australia in the first game of the 2023 Asia-Pacific Baseball Championship (APBC) at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Saturday, helping his team to a 3-2 extra-inning victory.
Choi took the mound as the team’s fifth pitcher in the eighth inning with the score at 1-2. He made his national team debut under difficult circumstances, but his pitching exceeded expectations. Just as he did with Doosan, he used his steady delivery and boldness to record five valuable outs.
Choi started off with a bang, striking out the first two batters, Burke and Smith, in quick succession. He then faced Edwards and gave up a long shot to deep left field, but the runner was lucky to be thrown out trying to steal second as he was caught between first and second. End of inning.
With the score tied at 2-2, the ninth inning started with a swinging strikeout for Knight. His fastball then shook sharply and he walked Spence and Whitefield to load the bases, 온라인카지노 but he got Wingrove back on a swinging strikeout to put runners on first and second. The pitch count was 33.
Jung struck out the next two hitters to end the inning, clearing the bases for Choi’s successor.
It was a perfect debut for Choi, who was praised by national team manager Ryu Jung-il, who said, “Seung-yong did a good job in the eighth and ninth innings.”
Choi Seung-yong is a left-handed pitching prospect who was discovered by Doosan two years ago. Selected with the 20th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 KBO Draft out of Sollae High School, he earned a spot on the postseason roster after posting a 3.93 ERA in 15 games and two starts in his first year, gaining valuable experience in seven games. On the big stage of the Korean Series, he pitched three games and 1⅔ scoreless innings, drawing attention to himself as the left-hander to lead Doosan in the future.
Surprisingly, Choi played baseball as a weekend hobbyist until his sophomore year of middle school, when he began playing elite baseball in his junior year. Nevertheless, he developed a flexible pitching arsenal in high school, including a fastball, slider, curveball, and splitter, and helped Sollae Go defeat favorite Yatap Go in the round of 16 at the 74th Golden Lion.
Choi Seung-yong was also the subject of controversy at the Ulsan spring training camp in February last year.
Former ‘National Treasure’ manager Sun Dong-yeol became the Bears’ daily pitching instructor and kept a close eye on the Doosan pitchers, and after watching Choi’s performance, he gave him the highest praise, saying, “I really don’t have anything to say to you.”
This year, Choi broke into the starting rotation after catching the eye of manager Lee Seung-yup, the “national hitter,” and posted an impressive 3-6 record with one save and a 3.97 ERA in 34 games. He went through some growing pains in the first half of the year and had to bounce between the starting rotation and the bullpen, but he settled down in the second half and went 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 15 games, helping Doosan reach the postseason. He also pitched one inning of one-hit ball in Game 1 of the wild-card deciding game against NC, striking out 10 and walking none.
Choi’s dreams of making his first national team were dashed when he was not included in the 62-man preliminary roster for the APBC announced in late August, but he made a surprise call-up to the national team after his performances in September and October. He proved Ryu’s choice right from the get-go, as he made his debut. It was a 1⅔-inning shutout that defined both his future with the national team and Doosan.