Lee Jung-hoo started as the third batter and center fielder in an away game against Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan at 6 p.m. on the 22nd and swung three hits, one walk, and one RBI in three at-bats. Lee Jung-hoo’s batting average this season has risen slightly from 0.313 to 0.319. Kiwoom beat Lotte 5-3 with Lee Jung-hoo’s performance and escaped from the long eight consecutive losses.
Lee Jung-hoo’s good condition was revealed from the first inning. Lee Jung-hoo calmly picked out Lotte right-hander Park Se-woong’s ball from the top of the first inning with no outs and runners on first and second bases. Later, Lee Won-seok stepped on the home plate and scored a goal during a timely hit.
In the top of the second inning, Lee Jung-hoo also got a hit during a pitcher’s training session. He failed to score due to a failed follow-up hit, but completed the multi-hit game in just two innings. In the top of the fifth inning, when the team was leading 4-2, he also hit Park Se-woong’s slider and hit a clean hit that fell to the right-center. However, even at this time, follow-up hitters could not call Lee Jung-hoo home.
In Lee Jung-hoo’s performance, Baek-mi was in the top of the seventh inning. Kiwoom allowed one run in the bottom of the sixth inning and allowed Lotte to chase 4-3. a situation in which additional points were desperately needed. At the top of the seventh inning, leadoff hitter Kim Hye-sung hit a triple that cut through the right-center. Follow-up hitter Lee Jung-hoo appeared at third base with no outs and aimed at Lotte left-hander bullpen pitcher Kim Jin-wook’s slider and fired a timely RBI to the right. Thanks to Lee Jung-hoo’s precious additional point, Kiwoom did not lose the lead until the end and beat Lotte 5-3 to escape the long eight consecutive losses.
Kiwoom had only 13 points and 1.63 points per game during the eight consecutive losses before the game. There was no clue to the attack in the lineup. Lee Jung-hoo was at the center of the lineup, but the performance of the rest of the batters except Kim Hye-sung was too weak. That’s how the team lost eight games in a row. However, Lee Jung-hoo stepped up once again to escape the team’s losing streak and eventually stood tall as a troubleshooter. Lee Jung-hoo also led the team to victory with three hits in four at-bats against the NC Dinos on the 5th, the last victory of Kiwoom in eight consecutive losses. When Lee Jung-hoo exploded three hits again, the team won.
Lee Jung-hoo’s performance is getting fiercer over time. Lee Jung-hoo was sluggish with a batting average of 0.218 in April. By modifying his form, the batting balance completely collapsed. However, when he returned to his form last season, he succeeded in rebounding. Lee Jung-hoo hit 0.374 in June after hitting a batting average of 0.305 in May, signaling the return of the troubleshooter. And his batting average in July is 0.435 (20 hits in 46 at-bats). The on-base percentage in July also reached 0.518. If you go to bat twice, you will get on base more than once. Despite the victory, Kiwoom is currently in ninth place (39 wins, 2 draws and 47 losses). However, if Lee Jung-hoo continues to take the center of the lineup, there is plenty of room to hit the mid-range.