Big bat of Bears catcher steals show from two aces

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Big bat of Bears catcher steals show from two aces

At Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Saturday, 14,160 fans flocked to see the league’s two hottest Korean pitchers going head-to-head for the first time this season.

Yang Hyeon-jong of the Kia Tigers was the league’s only pitcher with an ERA under 2.00, while Yoo Hee-kwan of the Doosan Bears was No. 2 in ERA and wins.

While the game was expected to be a low-scoring affair with the two southpaws on the mound, each allowed four runs, including a home run. Yang went 6 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits, while Yoo pitched 7 innings and gave up six hits.

The star of the game was Bears catcher Yang Eui-ji, who went 3-for-5 including two three-run homers for a personal high of six RBIs.

The 28-year-old launched his first in the top of the third against Yang to give the Bears a 4-2 lead and his second in the seventh off Sim Dong-sub to make a score 8-4.

The Bears eventually won, 9-4.

When Yang, the 2010 KBO Rookie of the Year, returned to the dugout after hitting his second three-run shot of the game, Yoo hugged him for a long time because he knew he would get his 11th win of the season.

Yang said he was sorry to Yoo for not leading the pitcher defensively, but the 2014 Golden Glove winner made up for it with his bat, providing all the offense Yoo needed to collect the victory.

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