It’s an unpredictable race.
The batting title is hotly contested. It’s back to a two-way tie after several changes in composition.
Samsung Lions’ Koo Ja-rook is closing in on leading hitter NC Dinos Son As-seob.
In the season finale against KT at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea on Saturday, Koo went 4-for-3 with four RBIs, including a wedge home run, to lead the Lions to a 6-2 victory.
It was Koo’s day as a clutch hitter.
He hit a leadoff double with the bases loaded in the top of the third inning with the score tied at 0-0 and a two-run single with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning for a 3-0 lead.
Trailing 2-4 in the top of the eighth, he led off the inning with a solo shot to right field, his 11th of the season, to cut the deficit to three runs.
Koo raised her season average to .344 and moved to within three runs of NC’s leading hitter Son Ah-seop (0.347), who did not play on the day. Kiwoom’s Kim Hye-sung (0.335), LG’s Hong Chang-ki (0.334) and SSG’s Eredia (0.325), who is competing in the Asian Games, follow. All five players are making their first attempt at the batting title.
In the second half of the season, Koo Ja-uk, who has been batting cleanup, found himself in contention with Son Ah-seop.
Former No. 1 SSG Guillermo Heredia reclaimed the title in late August after returning from a sprained left anterior thigh muscle (iliopsoas). Guzauk coincidentally went downhill from there. In mid-September, he bottomed out at 0.325 and briefly disappeared from the race.
However, he started to rebound on September 17 against Daegu Lotte. In a 15-game hitting streak, he went 28-for-60 (.467), including three home runs during that stretch.캡틴토토
LG’s Hong Chang-ki, who jumped into the batting title race in September by raising his season average to 0.342, has maintained a steady pace. Recently, however, he’s felt like he’s been pushed to the back of the lineup amid the rise of Guzauk Son Ah-seop.
It’s going to be a tightrope walk between tension and casual comfort that could be loosened slightly as the season title is clinched.