Panoni gets first win, Choi doubles, Jung hits third straight SV…KIA sweeps, Lotte falls to 7th place

KIA Tigers complete sweep.

Behind a no-hitter from starter Thomas Pannoni and RBIs from Socrates and Choi Hyung-woo, KIA won 6-3 against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Tuesday at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field. The win was KIA’s third in a row, pushing Lotte down to seventh place and moving up one spot to sixth.

The game was 0-0 through three innings as KIA’s Panoni and Lotte’s Han Hyun-hee battled through a tight starting pitching battle. KIA broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning. After leadoff hitter Choi Won-jun drew a walk, Kim Do-young led off the inning with a double down the right field line. He was unable to capitalize on the ensuing bases-loaded opportunity.

In the bottom of the second, Kim Min-soo and Lee Jung-geun hit back-to-back singles, but Lotte was unable to capitalize. In the sixth inning, Ahn Kwon-soo reached first base on an error by the shortstop and Jeon Jun-woo drew a walk, but Noh Jin-hyuk was unable to score. The offense was unable to capitalize on Pannoni’s sophisticated pitches.

KIA had another chance after Pannoni settled down the Lotte bats. In the bottom of the sixth, Na Sung-beom led off with a single to left, and a batter later, Socrates doubled to right-center. Kim Sun-bin followed with a single and Lee Woo-sung’s grounder to the pitcher plated another run to make it 3-0.

Lotte had a chance in the top of the seventh when leadoff hitter Kim Min-seok doubled over the third baseman’s head. With runners on first and third, pinch-hitter Gudrum drew a walk, but Park Seung-wook struck out and Yoon Dong-hee was thwarted by reliever Lim Ki-young, who flied out to right field to end the threat.

KIA decided the game in the seventh inning. With one out, Choi Won-jun hit a double down the first base line, and Kim Do-young and Na Sung-beom drew walks to load the bases. Choi Hyung-woo took advantage of the opportunity and hit a double to right-center field. Socrates added a run with a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 6-0.

Lotte scored its first run in the top of the eighth inning when Jung-hoon hit a solo shot to left field. Jeon Jun-woo walked, Kim Min-seok singled to left, and Kim Min-soo followed with a double down the right field line to cut the lead to 2-6. The next two runners were stranded at second and third. In the ninth inning, Jeong Hoon hit an RBI single. 안전놀이터

Panoni threw 98 pitches until the bottom of the seventh, allowing five hits and two walks with four strikeouts to earn his first win. Lim Ki-young got out of a jam with runners on second and third in the seventh. Jang Hyun-sik gave up two runs in the eighth. Left-hander Choi Ji-min worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, but gave up a run on three hits in the ninth. Jung Hae-young pitched a three-hitter in the ninth and earned the save with one strikeout.

Han Hyun-hee, who started in place of Na Gyun-an due to a hamstring injury, pitched four innings of two-hit ball with two walks and one strikeout. Koo Seung-min, who came on in the sixth after Kim Sang-soo in the fifth, gave up two runs on three hits. Choi also gave up three runs and gave up the win.

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