It’s Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on the 14th, the final day of the 57th Presidential High School Baseball Tournament (organized by the JoongAng Ilbo and the Korea Baseball and Softball Association). Seven large tourist buses with “Jeollabuk-do” license plates pulled into the parking lot of the main stadium, a large group of supporters who had traveled six hours round trip to cheer on the Gunsan Sangil High School baseball team as they attempted to win their first title in 37 years.
Hundreds of alumni and first- and second-year students of Gunsan Sangil High School let out a throaty cheer in the sweltering heat that reached a maximum temperature of 34 degrees Celsius. The players responded to their passion with victory. After more than four and a half hours of close play, the team completed a dramatic ninth-inning victory with its signature “come-from-behind victory.
Gunsan Sangsang Il-Go won 11-10 after a hard-fought game that saw 21 points exchanged with Incheon Go, lifting the trophy for the fourth time in its history. It was the first time in 37 years that Gunsan Sangilgo had won the title since 1986. The victory came after a seesaw game of upsets and comebacks.
Gunsan Sangilgo scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after falling behind 3-4. After tying the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the team scored four runs to take a 10-6 lead. In the top of the eighth, Incheon Go scored four runs to tie the game at one, but they had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth. After back-to-back singles by Lim Joo-hwan and Choi Siwon and an opponent’s error loaded the bases, Park Chan-woo hit a line drive that landed just in front of the left field fence. All of the Gunsan Sangilgo players in the dugout poured out onto the field and hugged each other. Above their heads, the cheerleaders sang the school song at the top of their lungs.
Gunsan Sang-il-Go is more familiar to baseball fans by its old name, Gunsan Sang-go. The team made a name for itself in baseball in the 1970s and 1980s by staging numerous upset victories. The team has produced a number of star baseball players, including Kim Sung-han, Cho Kye-hyun, Kim Bong-yeon, Kim Jun-hwan, Kim Il-kwon, Jung Myung-won, Cho Regul, Lee Jin-young, and Chau-chan.
This year, the school switched to the humanities and changed its name to Gunsan Sangil High School, but the baseball team’s fighting spirit and backbone remained the same. At the fourth national tournament, the Presidential Boat, the team defeated Gwangju Ilgo, Yulgokgo, and Hwimungo to reach the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they defeated powerhouse Gyeonggi Gyeonggo in a 10-inning walk-off victory, and in the finals, they defeated Incheon Gyeonggo, the pride of Gudo, in another walk-off victory. It was the first national championship under the new name.
Coach Suk Soo-cheol (former Ssangbangul Raiders), who has been at the helm of his alma mater Gunsan Sangilgo since 2011, said, “A lot of promising players left for other areas. Together with the players, I believed that ‘training is the only way to live’ and sweated more than others,” he said, wiping away tears.
Gunsan City Mayor Kang Lim-jun, who personally visited the herdsmen and cheered on Gunsan Sangilgo, said, “Not long ago, our region suffered from record heavy rains and disasters,” adding, “The athletes showed the spirit of a ‘master of reversal’ by winning the presidential boat. I think it will be good news for our exhausted citizens.”메이저사이트
Gunsan Sangsang Ilgo ace Jung Min-sung won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Pitcher of the Year awards despite missing the final game due to pitch count restrictions. He was recognized for his strong performance in the semifinals, leading his team to the final. “I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I almost cried,” he said, adding, “I want to eat beef, and I’m going to ask my parents to buy it for me because I won the championship.”