Hwang Jun-seo (18), the “ace” of Jangchung High School, stood at bat, not on the mound.
Hwang Jun-seo played as the 안전놀이터 designated hitter in the match against Gunsan Sangil High School in the round of 32 of the 78th Blue Dragon National Baseball Championship held at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 19th. On this day, Hwang Jun-seo succeeded in hitting, on base, and scoring for the first time in his high school career.
Hwang Jun-seo is making a name for himself as a pitcher, not as a fielder. Hwang Jun-seo is a ‘left-handed fireballer’ who can throw the ball up to 150 km/h, and is considered one of the ‘largest left-handed pitchers’ in the upcoming KBO draft. He is highly regarded to the extent that he competes for the top 1 and 2 positions with Jang Hyun-seok (19, Masan Yong Margo).
But on this day, he played as a hitter, not a pitcher. Manager Song Min-soo of Jangchunggo said, “Today, there was a player who could not play because he was ill, so I sent Hwang Jun-seo as a batter.” He had faith that he would do it as a hitter.”
In the at-bat, Hwang Jun-seo made a big success, recording two walks and one hit. Hwang Jun-seo, who had never reached base at bat in three years of high school (6 at-bats in 8 games), succeeded in reaching base three times that day, living up to the expectations of the coach. His scoring was the same
At the end of the second inning, Hwang Jun-seo, who went on base with a walk from first base safely, succeeded in scoring by stepping home with a sacrifice bunt, an opponent’s error, and a push walk. At the end of the third inning with a 3-0 lead, he stepped on second base with his second walk. In the bottom of the 5th, he made a hit with a surprise bunt and succeeded in his first hit in his high school career. At the end of the 6th inning, with 2 outs loaded, he withdrew with a looking strikeout.
Hwang Jun-seo, whom we met after the game, said, “I tried not to harm my teammates as much as possible. He said, “I feel good after scoring, and next time I go out again, I want to try RBI (first time in high school).” He said, “I have been proud of batting since middle school. Today, I added fun again,” he added. Director Song Min-soo also left some room, saying, “If there is a chance in the future, I can play as a batter again.”
In fact, on this day, Hwang Jun-seo planned to climb the mound as a pitcher at the end of the game. In the beginning of the 6th inning, he began to warm up as his team was conceding runs, but the game ended in a called game (Jangchung High School won 9-2), so he failed to pitch. Like Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), he almost could have been seen doing both pitching and hitting in one game. He said, “Even if he went out as a pitcher, his condition would have been fine.”
Hwang Jun-seo, who took a break thanks to the support of the other line, is scheduled to climb the mound the next day (20th) in the round of 16 against Yu Shin-go. He said, “I think I can throw well without any burden (physical strength). My teammates and I have the mindset to do our best regardless of the outcome. I will show you how to work hard.”