Walk-off squeeze spoils Twins’ 5-infielder strategy

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Walk-off squeeze spoils Twins’ 5-infielder strategy

With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth Sunday and Nexen Heroes pinch runner You Jae-sin at third, LG Twins manager Yang Sang-moon moved left outfielder Park Yong-taek to first base and positioned first baseman Moon Seon-jae between Park and second baseman Park Ji-kyu. Center fielder Kim Young-eui moved to left.

The strategy was intended to prevent a ground ball from going into the outfield to score the winning run. As Heroes catcher Park Dong-won stepped into the batter’s box, many thought he would try to hit a pitch in the air to the outfield for either a hit or a sacrifice fly.

The ball stayed in the infield, all right, but it was a squeeze bunt that caught the Twins infielders flat-footed. By the time pitcher Jeong Chan-heon reached the ball, You was sliding across home plate with the winning run.

The walk-off squeeze play executed by the Heroes was the first this season and the 32nd in KBO history. For Park, the bunt was the first walk-off hit of his career.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON[joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]

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