The tide has turned. After being pushed to the brink, KT has found its groove.
KT swept NC 11-2 in the fourth game of the playoffs at NC Park in Changwon on April 3. After losing Games 1 and 2, KT took Games 3 and 4 to even the series. They will return home to Suwon to play the final game for a spot in the Korean Series in Game 5 on Friday. The momentum was now in KT's favor.
Starter William Cuevas pitched six shutout innings, striking out three and walking none, and the bats found their groove, pounding out 14 hits, including three home runs.
The game played out exactly as KT coach Lee Kang-cheol had said the day before, "If we win the third game, we have the advantage."
Cuevas redeemed himself for his poor performance in Game 1. On Oct. 30, he gave up seven runs (four earned) on six hits, one home run and two walks in three innings. With the ace going down early, KT fell to 5-9. In game two, the bats failed to find their groove, falling 2-3 and facing elimination from the series.
However, KT bounced back with a 3-0 victory in Game 2, led by a strong pitching performance from Korea's No. 1 starter Ko Young-pyo, and sent Cuevas out again. Cuevas, who threw 75 pitches in Game 1 and was knocked out early, returned for Game 4 with only three days' rest and a must-win game. When asked by manager Lee Kang-cheol, who already had Game 4 in mind when the first pitch was thrown, Cuevas said, "No problem," and responded with a great pitch.
It was a comeback that was reminiscent of 2021, when KT won the overall championship and went on to play Samsung, which was tied for first place after 144 games, in the title game. Cuevas threw 108 pitches in his final regular-season start on Oct. 28, but started the championship game on Oct. 31 with just two days of rest. Cuevas threw a whopping 99 pitches for seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and walking none, helping KT to a 1-0 victory and the regular season title. Cuevas also pitched 7.2 innings of one-run ball in Game 1 of the Korean Series, leading KT to a four-game sweep.
After suffering his first loss in the playoffs since starting in fall baseball, Cuevas came to KT's rescue once again with another three-day stint on the mound. He kept the NC bats at bay with a no-hitter until Son Ah-seop singled up the middle in the top of the sixth inning.
The batting lineup also provided strong support. After easily scoring two runs in the first inning on Park Byung-ho's single and Jang Jang-woo's sacrifice fly to center field, KT added another run in the second inning on a wild pitch by NC's second pitcher 카지노사이트 Lee Jae-hak and a run-scoring double by Hwang Jae-gyun to make it 4-0. An RBI single by Jang Ji-dae in the third and solo home runs by Hwang Jae-gyun and Jang Jang-woo in the fourth made it 8-0, effectively sealing the game. Even after Cuevas was sent down, the KT bats added two more runs in the seventh and a solo home run by Anthony Alford in the eighth.
From the third-place fight at the end of the season to the wild card decider, the semifinals, and then the playoffs, the NC has shown the limits of its physical strength. With the hitters silent, starter Song Myung-ki got off to a difficult start, giving up four runs in 1.1 innings and forcing the game to a fifth game.