“Oh, it’s so hot!”
These are the first words of national team coach Ryu Joong-il, who first set foot in Hangzhou, the ‘promised land’.먹튀검증
The sweltering heat continued on the second day of the national team’s Hangzhou schedule. Ryu Joong-il, who is trying to win his fourth consecutive Asian Games title, held his first local training on the 29th at the 2nd stadium of the Shaoxing Baseball Sports and Culture Center in Hangzhou, China.
It is a new stadium built in April of last year. The clean and cool ground and the matching spectator seats were impressive. The central fence is 122m and both corners are 98m, making it a little smaller than Jamsil Stadium and similar to or slightly larger than Gocheok Dome.
On the other hand, the weather was as hot as expected and much more humid than expected. Even though the training started at 5pm and lasted over an hour, the temperature reached 31 degrees. The humidity was 76%, and by this point, the perceived temperature had risen to 33-34 degrees.
On this day, the national team pitchers started training by catching balls and the fielders played base running. Next, the pitchers completed defensive training, infield fungo, and running. The fielders worked hard with coaches Jong-Hoon Jang, Ji-Hyun Ryu, and Jong-Yeol Lee to engage in live batting, various batting, bunting, and infield defense training. There were also players who handled bullpen pitching, such as Jang Hyun-seok and Kim Young-gyu. The infield consisted of Noh Si-hwan, Park Seong-han (Kim Joo-won), and Kim Hye-seong (Kim Ji-chan), each receiving a boost from coach Lee Jong-yeol.
There was a feeling that the competition was about to start. Unlike the previous Gocheok Dome training, the players’ smiles were largely absent. Instead, it was noticeable that he was concentrating on playing.
However, what bothered the players more than the size of the stadium and the weather was the condition of the ground, which was slightly different from expected.
Shaoxing Baseball Stadium is artificial turf. However, there is artificial turf on the mound and foul area, and the dirt area, including the main road and near the base, is relatively large.
Coach Ryu Joong-il worried, “Because it is not a stadium that is used often, the length of the artificial turf may be a little long.” Those concerns were rightly correct. The response was that because the grass was a little longer, the force of the hit was lower than expected. There is also an irregular bounce at the contact surface between the grass and soil sections.
The mound was also hard enough to be hard to find in Korea. Coach Ryu, Dong-ju Moon, and Bin Kwak all unanimously emphasized that it was a “high and hard mound.” Coach Ryu also expressed concern about injuries, saying, “The end of the mound is steep.”
There are no professional first basemen. Moon Bo-kyung will mainly play first base, and Kang Baek-ho will serve as the designated hitter. While most fielders were talking in small groups near the batting cage, Kang Baek-ho, who continued to hit powerful long balls during batting practice, was unusual as he quietly watched other players training near the third base coach box.
The baseball team’s first game will be against Hong Kong on October 1. The fate of this tournament depended on the match against Taiwan on the 2nd. The group stage concludes with the match against Thailand on the 3rd. The Hong Kong-Taiwan match starts at 6:30 local time, and the Thailand match starts at 12:00 noon.
The four teams ranked 1st and 2nd in each group will play the super round on the 5th and 6th. In the Super Round, one game is played against two teams from the opposing group, but the results from the previous group stage are added. The first and second place winners of the Super Round will face off in the finals, which will be held on the 7th of next month.