Aaron Wilkerson (34), a foreign pitcher for the Lotte Giants, showed off the best pitching on the Korean stage. He didn’t give up a single hit in seven innings, though he didn’t get a start as his batting line couldn’t provide a run.
Lotte won a thrilling 1-0 victory in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against SSG Landers held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 6th. With this, Lotte ended its three-game losing streak and escaped from the danger of being swept against SSG in three consecutive weekend matches.
The leading role in Lotte’s victory on this day was, of course, Wilkerson. In his third appearance in Korea, he struck out 6 in 7 innings and gave up only 1 walk. Until the 6th episode, they continued their perfect march.
Even Koo Seung-min (8th inning) and Kim Won-joong (9th inning) who took the mound did not record any hits, and Lotte created the first ‘collaborative no-hitter’. It has been 37 years since Kim Jeong-haeng’s personal no-hitter in 1986 as a no-hitter in 9 innings. In addition, it is the third time that a joint no-hitter has appeared in the KBO league, and it has been 1 year and 4 months since SSG (Wilmer Font-Kim Taek-hyung) on April 2 last year.
SSG-Lotte starting lineup on August 6 (8,162 final spectators)
- SSG Landers : Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter) – Choi Ji-hoon (center fielder) – Choi Joo-hwan (1st baseman) – Choi Jeong (3rd baseman) – Park Sung-han (shortstop) – Ha Jae-hoon (left fielder) – Hanyu-seom (right fielder) – Kim Seong-hyeon (2nd baseman) – Kim Min-sik (catcher). The starting pitcher is Kirk McCarty.
- Lotte Giants : Kim Min-seok (Center fielder) – Nico Goodrum (3rd baseman) – Jung Hoon (1st baseman) – Ahn Chi-hong (2nd baseman) – Jeon Jun-woo (Left fielder) – Han Dong-hee (DH) – Ko Seung-min (Right fielder) – Son Seong-bin (catcher) -Lee Hak-joo (shortstop). The starting pitcher is Aaron Wilkerson.
In SSG, Hanyu Island, who returned to the first team entry the day before, was named in the starting lineup as the 7th hitter and right fielder. Lotte’s shortstop Lee Hak-joo started for the first time since the Changwon NC game on the 13th of last month.
The ‘Crazy Pitcher Battle’ between the two foreigners continued with a streak of 0
SSG starter Kirk McCarty pitching on the 6th.
The match began with a left-right confrontation between two foreign pitchers, McCarty (SSG) and Wilkerson (Lotte). Wilkerson finished the first inning with two strikeouts and did not send a single batter to first base while the batting line rotated. Confronting this, McCarty also got a hit from lead hitter Ahn Chi-hong in the second inning, but overcame the hurdle by treating Han Dong-hee as a double kill in the sixth.
Lotte knocked on the door, succeeding in reaching base several times against McCarty. At the end of the 4th inning, Jeong-hoon walked out after two outs, but An Chi-hong struck out and withdrew. In the 5th inning, Ko Seung-min went out with a surprise bunt hit in front of the second baseman, but was immediately caught in the pitcher check ball and destroyed the opportunity. Lotte seldom sent a runner in scoring position.
Fortunately, Lotte was better. SSG couldn’t even properly target Wilkerson’s ball. Wilkerson consistently played boldly and cooked opponent batters through his changeup and cutter. SSG was rarely able to connect Wilkerson’s ball with a straight hit, and while the game entered the middle, the lineup remained silent.
Lotte Wilkerson fights against Sajik SSG on the 6th.
Stuffy Lotte batting line, failed to make Wilkerson starter
Likewise, Lotte, who had been silent for a long time, seized the best chance of the game at the end of the 7th inning. Leading hitter Goodrum attacked McCarty’s 6th fastball and survived with a double that fell in the middle right. Lotte, who created the first scoring opportunity on the day, set up a situation with one company and third base with Park Seung-wook’s third successful sacrifice bunt.
However, the center batting line did not take advantage of this opportunity at all. An Chi-hong played a game that went up to 7 pitches, but was out with a pop fly by the second baseman. Even Jeon Jun-woo, number 5, withdrew due to a floating ball in center field, and Lotte blew the opportunity.
In the meantime, Wilkerson gave up a walk to Choo Shin-soo in the top of the 7th, breaking the perfect streak. Then, with a bunt and a fly in center field, he faced a crisis with second out and third base. However, he continued his calm pitching and struck out Choi Jeong, finally continuing 7 innings of no-hitter.
However, the 8th inning was not allowed to Wilkerson, who was on the mound after a 4-day break and had already thrown 96 pitches. In addition, Lotte replaced the pitcher with Koo Seung-min in the defense at the beginning of the 8th inning without bursting the batting line. In the end, Wilkerson ended the game with a no-decision.
Lotte Wilkerson (far right) is returning to the dugout after defending the 7th inning against Sajik SSG on the 6th.
The one thing I needed came out of the hands of Yoon Dong-hee in the second year
Lotte Yoon Dong-hee.
Lotte, who had been silent, eventually raised the necessary score at the end of the game. Lotte took a chance at the end of the 8th inning when pinch hitter Lee Jung-hoon, who came out as the lead hitter, survived with a right-handed hit. In the 1st and 3rd base made by Koh Seung-min’s sacrifice bunt, Lotte put Yoon Dong-hee, who was on the bench for the second year, as a pinch hitter to Son Seong-bin at bat.안전놀이터
Yoon Dong-hee, who calmly dealt with SSG’s second pitcher Moon Seung-won, hit a big ball to the right field. Right fielder Hanyu-seom hesitated for a while and eventually failed to catch the ball, and second base runner Ahn Kwon-soo stepped home. It was the moment when something was needed.
Lotte, who took the lead, made a strong effort to put closer Kim Won-joong, who had thrown multi-innings the previous day, and Kim Won-joong completed a joint no-hitter by handling SSG hitters well.