With a 11-1 victory over the Nexen Heroes, the Samsung Lions won the Korean Series for the fourth consecutive year. In the 32-year history of the league, the Lions are the second team after the Kia Tigers, formerly known as the Haitai Tigers, to win four consecutive titles. The two teams were on par earlier in the Korean Series, as both teams had two wins and two losses. However, the Samsung Lions ultimately earned their place as the champions with four wins and two losses.
As most people predicted based on the team’s prior performance that the Samsung Lions would lead in the regular season, the Lions finished the regular season in first place with 79 wins, 3 draws and 47 losses. The team was therefore guaranteed a spot in the Korean Series, the top tier of the postseason of the Korean baseball season.
“As the Samsung Lions were the victorious team in the last three Korean Series, it was really obvious that they were going to do extremely well this year,” said Cinji Lee (9), avid Samsung Lions fan.
“I knew that they would win the Korean Series in the end, Although there were a few bumps in the road, I was confident that my team could overcome those challenges and be victorious one again.”
Although the Lions faced several ups and downs during their matches, they were able to regroup and win the subsequent points. Oh Jae-young, the Nexen Heroes’ relief pitcher, put the Samsung Lions in quite a stump, and the Lions were not able to score a single hit during the first two innings. The Lions then regrouped to score four runs in the top of the third inning to equalize the score. The Lions were then able to take advantage of the relative inexperience of Nexen Heroes’ new pitcher, Moon Sung-hyun, and secured their lead in the match.
To further increase the score gap, when the Lions were leading 4-1, Yamaico Navarro, infielder for the Samsung Lions, hit a home run and secured the Lions’ lead 7-1. Navarro was voted as the Korean Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his three-run home run in the last last game of the season, and his four home runs throughout the entire Korean Series.
“I think that Navarro’s play in the championship game was truly extraordinary, and his performance really helped the Samsung Lions win. He really proved himself as part of the elite in Korean baseball when he hit that home run in the last game of the season,” said Jenny Lee (10), LG Twins fan.
With their success, the Samsung Lions did not state that it would be changing a lot of the team and support staff. However, all of the teams that did not qualify for the postseason this year – Kia Tigers, Hanhwa Eagles, Doosan Bears, Lotte Giants and the Sk Wyverns – have announced that they have hired new coaches for the next regular season. Among these new coaches is Kim Seunggen, a prominent Korean baseball coach, who is signed to coach Hanhwa for the next regulate season. Because of these changes, according to baseball enthusiasts, the reigning champions will probably face much more advanced players in the future.
“The Samsung Lions proved with this victory that they are the ultimate number one team,” said Nick Yeo (10), fervent Lotte Giants fan.
“However, with the numerous new coaches, it is difficult to predict who will do the best during next season,” Nick stated.