Hanwha Eagles’ Lee Jin-young was all smiles.
Lee came up as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded in the fifth inning of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Samsung Lions at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Thursday and hit a grand slam. Lee went 1-for-2 with a double, a home run, four RBIs and one run scored on the day, helping Hanwha to a 10-5 victory over Samsung.
Lee Jin-young knew it was a home run the moment it hit his bat. He threw his bat confidently, pumped his fist in the air, and savored the moment of hitting his first grand slam. He then performed a bat flip, sending the crowd into a roar. When asked after the game if he had planned the flip, Lee laughed and said, “The bat flip came naturally.” Lee had been struggling the previous day.
Lee had struggled in the previous game. He went 0-for-3 at the plate and even made a fielding error in the ninth inning. However, he had a special night at the plate and talked to the coaching staff to calm his nerves.
“My hitting hasn’t been great lately, so I’ve been trying to keep practicing, and I’ve been trying to gain confidence. I talked to the coaches while I was hitting, and they gave me a lot of encouragement. They said, ‘If you can’t do it, you can go to the second team, and you can prepare again and come up.’ So I played with the idea of having fun while I was in the first team, without regrets.”
He’s also happy to be a substitute instead of a starter. “I think there’s a reason why coach Choi Won-ho chooses me in important moments, and I think I’ll get more opportunities if I do well in those situations,” Lee said, adding, “I want to fulfill what the team asks of me.” He also expressed his desire to play more than he is now.스포츠토토
Lee has never hit a grand slam before. He hopes that the moment he has always dreamed of will become a reality, and that it will spur him on. He said, “I always thought about hitting a grand slam. I don’t even remember hitting a three-run homer. I only hit two runs or solo shots. It felt good when the runners were waiting for me after I hit the grand slam,” he said, vowing to continue being a contributing player to the team.