Akbari-Geun Sung’s 3-hit debut fills the 5.6 billion outfield gap

Jung Soo-bin was dropped to No. 9 due to illness, leaving a gap at the top of the order. But Doosan’s worries were unfounded. Backup Kim Tae-geun, who is equipped with a badass attitude, did a great job in the leadoff role with three hits.

The Doosan Bears won the 15th game of the season against the Lotte Giants of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2-1 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 8. With the result, the Bears escaped a two-game losing streak after suffering a loss the previous day and improved to 71 wins, two draws, and 63 losses on the season.

Kim Tae-geun started in right field and went 3-for-4 at the plate in the win. In his first at-bat, he lined a fastball up the middle off Lotte left-handed ace Charlie Barnes, his first hit in 45 days since a multi-hit game against SSG in Jamsil on Aug. 25. He followed that up with an infield single in the third inning to complete his first multi-hit game of the season, and then lined a single to left field on a Koo Seung-min pitch in the seventh inning for his first career three-hit game.

Kim Tae-geun took over the starting leadoff spot for the first time in about a month after he resigned against Sajik Lotte on Sept. 3. Regular leadoff man Jung Soo-bin was dropped to the ninth spot after complaining of low stamina, and manager Lee Seung-yeop entrusted Kim Tae-geun, who is known for his active play and grit, to bat first.

Kim Tae-geun said after the game, “We were on a two-game losing streak with nine games left. I was told I was going to start, so I took the leadoff spot and aimed for three runs. I thought that I would go out unconditionally even if I got hit by a pitch, and I’m glad that I achieved that goal.” He shared his thoughts on the victory.

Although he was assigned to the No. 1 spot after only a month, there was not much psychological pressure. Kim Tae-geun said, “I’m not particularly nervous because I’ve been batting leadoff for a long time. It’s an important role to start the game, so I think focusing on it from the first at-bat led to good results,” he said.

Kim Tae-geun, a former student of Bae Myung-go and Kookmin University, is a fifth-year college outfielder who joined Doosan with the 49th pick in the second round of the 2019 Rookie Draft, but this was his 45th career game. He is categorized as a backup in the outfield and is used to being a big hitter and a big defender.

How he got three hits with few opportunities. “When you haven’t batted in a long time, it’s hard to cope with fastballs. As a pre-game routine, I try to 안전놀이터 set the pitching machine to the fastest speed so that I don’t lose my timing,” he explained. At its highest setting, the pitching machine throws more than 150 kilometers.

Kim’s goal is to help Doosan finish the season on a high note, regardless of whether he starts or backs up. “I’m grateful every day that I can be a part of this fierce battle, whether I’m a starter or a backup. It makes me want every at-bat even more. I’m determined to give it my all to reach the heights of fall baseball.”

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