Kiwoom Heroes Ace Ahn Woo-jin showed off his team’s winning streak and a good pitch to lead the weekend’s 3-game winning series. After 11 days, he won a pleasant victory on his comeback and set the stage for a double-digit multiplier for the second year in a row.

Kiwoom won 5-2 in the 13th game of the season against the Lotte Giants of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 19th. Driven by the momentum of the 5-4 come-from-behind victory the previous day, I tasted the joy of victory for two days in a row.

It was Ahn Woo-jin who laid the foundation for Kiwoom’s victory. Ahn Woo-jin showed quality start + pitching with 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 runs in 6 innings and harvested 8 wins of the season.

The start was a bit unsettling. At the beginning of the first inning, lead hitter Ahn Kwon-soo hit and Kim Min-seok hit a double, and at the same time as the start, they were in danger of safely second and third base. Lee Jung-hoon was treated as a ground ball by the first baseman, but in the meantime, third base runner Ahn Kwon-soo scored and gave Lotte the first point.

An Woo-jin quickly found stability. At the end of the first inning, Jeon Jun-woo struck out at 1st and 3rd base and sighed. He then caught An Chi-hong as a fly ball and finished the first inning without conceding any additional runs.

An Woo-jin struggled against the onslaught of Lotte’s batters in the beginning of the second inning. After one out, he hit Roh Jin-hyuk and allowed consecutive walks to Yoo Gang-nam and Lee Hak-joo, quickly becoming one out and full base. 

An Woo-jin did not collapse here. Third base runner Noh Jin-hyeok scored when Kwon-soo Ahn hit a fly ball to center fielder, and the score widened to 0-2, but Min-seok Kim was hit and the inning ended.

Afterwards, Ahn Woo-jin made a tripartite attack on Lotte in the beginning of the 3rd inning and fought hard until the 6th inning without any crisis. He shook the timing of Lotte batters by throwing a fastball with a maximum speed of 156km and an average speed of 151km, and various breaking balls such as curveballs and changeups on his main weapon, the high-speed slider.

Kiwoom hitters also worked hard. In the bottom of the 4th inning Lee Joo-hyung’s 1 RBI sacrifice fly in the outfield and Song Seong-moon’s 2 RBIs and doubles in the bottom of the 5th turned the game around, laying the foundation for Ahn Woo-jin to pitch comfortably. With Kim Dong-heon’s solo home run at the end of the 6th inning, Ahn Woo-jin was replaced by Kim Jae-woong in the top of the 7th inning, with the team leading 4-2 and meeting the requirements for a winning pitcher, and finished the mound.스포츠토토

An Woo-jin’s appearance in the first group on this day was 11 days after the Lotte match on the 8th (5 ⅔ innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts and 1 run). Director Kiwoom Hong Won-ki decided that An Woo-jin needed time to rest and reorganize even though there was no abnormality in his physical condition, and boldly canceled An Woo-jin from the entry and gave him a rest for 10 days.

The effect of rest was excellent. Woojin Ahn’s control was a bit shaky at the beginning of the game, but he gradually found his own rhythm and boldly threw his signature powerful fastball.

While Kiwoom coach Hong Won-gi expressed his anticipation before the game, “I believe that An Woo-jin has been fully reorganized during the period he was absent from the entry,” Ahn Woo-jin perfectly reciprocated the command tower’s trust.

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