’23 guns’ Noh Si-hwan, 3 gaps to Choi Jeong… How far will he go before AG’s departure?


Hanwha third baseman Noh Si-hwan (23) hit his 23rd home run of the season to lead the league in home runs.

Noh started at third base in the fourth spot in the lineup against KIA in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Saturday and went 3-for-3 with a home run, his 23rd of the season, two RBIs and three walks. It was the first six-hit game of his career.

After walking on an eight-pitch count with two outs in the first inning against KIA starter Mario Sanchez, Noh hit his fourth home run of the season. After leading off the fourth inning with Hanwha trailing 0-1, Noh again took a full seven-pitch count.

He smashed a 146-kilometer fastball outside the zone from Sanchez for a solo shot over the right-field fence. The home run traveled 110 meters and was his 23rd of the season. It was the one that opened a three-run gap to second-place Choi (20 SSGs) for first place in the category.

At the end of the first half, both players were tied for the home run lead with 19, but in the second half, Noh smashed four in 14 games while Choi managed just one in 13 games.

Noh has taken a step forward in the home run race, but next month’s Asian Games in Hangzhou will be the deciding factor. He will miss at least three weeks if the national team, which convenes as early as next month, finishes its schedule by the baseball finals (Oct. 7). This year, the league will continue as normal during the Asian Games. Choi will continue to play in the league as he was not selected for the national team.

The key for Noh will be how much of a gap he can keep between himself and Choi before he is called up to the national team. Choi hasn’t been hitting as many home runs lately, but he’s also a good hitter, so the three-run gap could be overturned at any time.

After a single up the middle in the fifth inning, Noh had a six-hit game with a walk in the seventh, a single to left in the ninth, and an automatic high four in the 11th. He had four previous five-hit games, but this was his first six-hit game in 511 games over five seasons.메이저사이트

Despite Noh’s six-hit performance, Hanwha was not all smiles. Trailing 4-3 with one out in the eighth inning, reliever Park Sang-won worked out of a jam with back-to-back strikeouts and then got two outs in the ninth. But after giving up a double to Park Chan-ho and a walk to Kim Do-young, Na Sung-beom hit a tying single to send the game into extra innings. The game ended in a 4-4 tie as neither team scored until the 12th inning.

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