High school baseball’s ‘master of upsets’ has been born. After the thrill of reaching the quarterfinals of the inaugural national tournament, the team reached the final stage of the Blue Dragon Games. The one-two punch was sealed due to the pitch count limit, but Mulgeumgo’s typhoon could not be stopped.
Mulgum-go pulled off a 13-5 upset over Kyungsang-go in the semifinals of the 78th Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship and Weekend League Wangjoong Wangjeon (co-hosted by Chosun Ilbo, Sports Chosun and the Korea Baseball Softball Association) at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on Friday. Trailing 2-3 in the top of the seventh inning, 13 batters combined for a seven-run big inning to secure the win.
The Gyeongnam Yangsan Mulgeumgo is a new team that was founded in 2015. Gyeonggi Sanggo was founded in 2019 after its baseball team was disbanded twice.
As both teams reached the quarterfinals of the first national tournament since their inception, parents of players from both schools, as well as alumni associations and local sports clubs, came out to cheer them on, which was hotter than the summer weather.
Mulgeumgo’s previous best performance at the national tournament was the quarterfinals of the 2020 Association Championships (now E-Mart Bae). This year was different. The team won the Weekend League (first half) for the first time in its history and reached the finals of the Cheongryonggi. 토토사이트
The process was also dramatic. In the round of 16 against Masango, they came back from a 1-11 deficit in the third to win 14-12. Masango is Kang’s alma mater and the team he coached for 10 years.
In the quarterfinals, they faced traditional powerhouse Chungam-go, who were looking to reach their third consecutive Cheongryonggi final. They took a 7-3 lead and tied the game at 7-7, but were fortunate to have the game suspended due to rain. In the suspended match the next day, ace Seo Bo-han was called up and won 11-9.
In the process, the “one-two punch” of Seo and Bae Kang-hyun were both limited in pitch count and were unable to play in the quarterfinals. Sophomore Moon Dong-woo got the start, but gave up back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the first inning.
In came the hero. First-year pitcher Cho Dong-hwi.
Cho was the hero of the last Masan Classic, pitching five scoreless innings in the fifth inning to save the game. The 1.70-meter-tall sidearm got the job done in his first official high school baseball appearance.
He came on in the bottom of the first inning and was once again the last man standing. However, Cho threw 105 high school baseball pitches until the bottom of the eighth inning, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks in seven innings.
Gyeonggi Sanggo was also unable to take the mound on this day, as key pitchers Jung Se-young and Lim Jin-mook were limited by pitch counts in the quarterfinals against Daegu Sangwon High School. Gyeonggi Sanggo used sophomore Hwang Jae-hyun for three innings and Jung Seung-yoon for 3⅓ innings. After the two pitchers went down, it was a problem.