In the third round of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League postseason playoffs, KT pulled off a 3-0 win over the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park on February 2. After losing the first two games at home, KT traveled to Changwon to fight back and even the series at two games apiece.
One of the main contributors to the win was “home game ace” Ko Young-pyo. Despite not having played for almost a month since his last outing against the KIA Tigers on October 3, Ko turned in a strong performance. He threw 105 pitches in six innings against a strong NC batting lineup, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out five.굿모닝토토 도메인
Ko got off to a lightning start in the very first inning when he struck out NC’s three best batters, Son Asub, Park Min-woo and Park Gun-woo.
After giving up early runs in the previous two games, KT took the lead for the first time in the third. At the start of the second inning, Choi Sung-ho led off with a single. He then hit a 120 mph slider from Tanner Tully over the left field fence for a two-run double. It was his second homer of the playoffs after hitting the game-winning shot in the ninth inning of Game 1.
Early in the second inning, Kwon gave up the first run on a 10-pitch walk to Hee-dong Kwon, but he got Oh Young-soo to ground out to first base and Seo Ho-cheol to fly out to second base to get out of the inning unscathed. In the third inning, he gave up a lead-off single to Son Ah-seob two batters later, but got the next batter, Park Min-woo, to fly out to first base.
After retiring the side in order in the fourth, Ko gave up a leadoff single to Oh Young-soo in the bottom of the fifth, but Seo Ho-chul grounded into a double play and Kim Hyung-joon grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to secure the win.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ko gave up a leadoff single to Kim Joo-won for the second straight game. After throwing out Son Ah-seop, Kim tried to steal second base with the bases loaded against Park Min-woo. It was a change-up, but Jang Jang-woo’s throw was perfectly placed at second base for the second out. Ko Young-pyo gave up a single to Park Min-woo, but struck out Park Gun-woo to end the sixth inning.
At the start of the seventh inning, KT’s Moon Sang-chul worked a full count against relief pitcher Kim Young-kyu and hit a 129 mph slider six pitches over the left field fence. It was Moon’s second homer of the playoffs after his first in Game 1.
In the bottom of the seventh, the veterans stepped to the forefront. Son Dong-hyun, who took over the mound, gave up a sharp hit to leadoff hitter Martin, but it was negated by a fantastic catch by second baseman Park Kyung-soo. The next batter, Kwon Hee-dong, threw a hard-hit ball into an awkward gap next to the pitcher as if it were a bunt, but third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun was able to make a clean running catch of the ball. Son Dong-hyun, backed by Hoseby, got Oh Young-soo to fly out to left field to end the seventh inning.
KT brought in Park Young-hyun in the eighth inning and Kim Jae-yoon in the ninth to stop NC’s late rally and secure the 3-0 win. NC, on the other hand, was unable to extend its postseason winning streak to 10 games as Tanner bounced back from his two-game slump to make a strong start in his third appearance of the fall season (six innings, five hits, one run, seven strikeouts, two walks), but the hit batsmen remained silent.