SSG wins the Korean series championships title


SSG Landers celebrate their victory

The Korean Series Championships began on Nov.1 and came to an end on Nov. 9, with the SSG Landers claiming the Korean Series title after winning four games out of the best-of-seven playoff series.

The first two games were held on Nov. 1 and 2 at the Incheon SSG Landers Field, SSG’s home stadium. In the first game, the Kiwoom Heroes beat the SSG Landers 7-6 after an intense exchange of hits and home runs. Though the Landers led until the fifth inning, the Heroes quickly caught up to tie the score, sending the game into extra innings. At the top of the tenth inning, the Heroes’s Jeon Byeong-woo made the game-winning hit to bring Yasiel Puig from second base to home. 

The second game was not nearly as close, with the Landers taking a comfortable 6-1 victory to tie the series 1-1.

From Nov. 4-5, the third and fourth games took place at Gocheok Sky Dome, the home of the Heroes. In the third game, the Heroes struck first during the fourth inning when Kim Tae-jin’s hit brought Puig home. However, in the eighth and ninth innings, the Landers’ offense exploded for eight runs, culminating in the Landers’ 8-2 victory.

The fourth game was decided by some critical errors by the Landers. During the Heroes’ second inning attack, none of the Landers’ defenders covered first base on two separate plays, keeping the inning alive and allowing the Heroes to score. Despite a late surge led by Choi Jeong’s two-RBI hit, the Heroes protected their lead until the end of the game. Once again, the series was tied  as each team had two wins. 

The fifth and sixth games from Nov. 7-8 returned to Incheon. The fifth game featured the best comeback of the series: with the Heroes up by four runs entering the eighth inning, it was hard to see the Landers winning. However, a two-run home run in the eighth and a walk-off, three-run home run in the last inning secured the Landers’ dramatic 5-4 victory. 

“I think it was through games with these patterns that made the playoffs so engaging,” Philip Kim (12), avid Kiwoom fan, said. “The games were largely unpredictable and pitchers on both teams did well every game.”

With three wins, the Landers only needed one more win to capture the title. During the third inning in the sixth game, Lim Dong-hui hit a two-run home, marking the Heroes in the lead. In the next inning, though Heroes’s Jeon Byeong Woo caught Landers’s Han Yoo-seom’s ground ball, Jeon made a pitch too high towards Tyler Eppler, Heroes’s pitcher, who ran towards first base. Eppler was unable to catch the ball, and Jeon’s mistake called two Landers players home, while Han remained safe. Right after, Lagares hit another ground ball, but Heroes’s Kim Whee-jip lost the ball, costing another potential outcount. However, no further points were scored in the third inning. 

In the sixth inning, the Heroes’s Lee Jung-hoo hit a solo homerun, breaking the tie and bringing his team ahead a point. During the Landers’s attack, Kim Tae-jin missed another ground ball, letting Lagares run safe to first base. The Heroes’s closing pitcher, Eric Jokisch, gave Landers’s Park Seong Han a base on balls. Choi Joo-hwan soon hit a bunt, moving the players in first and second base up one each—followed by Seong-Han’s successful hit that called two players home. 

Both teams were unable to produce additional points until the last inning, and the final game concluded with a score 4-2, declaring the SSG Landers the 2022 Korean Series champions.

“I already predicted that SSG would win before the Korean Series began,” Sean Lee (12), avid baseball fan, said. “Kiwoom had already depleted their energy in the earlier rounds of the playoffs and Kiwoom’s number one pitcher An Woo-jin got an injury during the first game. Despite all the challenges, I believe that both teams put on a phenomenal show and it was a very memorable playoffs to watch.”