I didn’t even know that my knee was bleeding. Escape from 5 consecutive losses, looking at only one thing, running and rolling, and victory came. It was the bloody fighting spirit of Samsung single infielder Kim Ji-chan (22).안전놀이터

Kim Ji-chan started as second baseman in the 9th game of the season against KT in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the 18th, and led the team to escape from 5 consecutive losses with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, 1 walk and 1 point in 4 at-bats. .

Kim Ji-chan, who recovered from a walk in the 1st inning and a foul fly by the first baseman in the 3rd inning, appeared at 1st and 2nd base in the 5th inning, trailing 1-2, and made chances for 1st and 3rd base by hitting the left-handed hit against KT starter Sang-baek Eom. Afterwards, he succeeded in advancing with a stealing second base that caught his attention, and when Jose Pirella’s heavy hit that came out of a 2-2 tie, he scored a come-from-behind run by stepping home through third base.

The highlight was the fourth at-bat. In the 6th inning when the score was 5-5, Lee Jae-Hyun’s double hit gave him a chance to run on second base, and pinch hitter Kim Dong-yeop withdrew due to a floating ball from center fielder. Kim Ji-chan met Son Dong-hyun at second base with 2nd out and hit a timely hit with 1 RBI, leading to a 6-5 lead. It was the moment when the final blow of the match was struck.

Kim Ji-chan’s performance did not end here. He appeared from 1 out and 3 base in the 8th inning with a narrow lead of 6-5, and hit an infield grounder with 1 RBI to seal the game. Under the pressure of the forward defense in the infield, he calmly hit a ground ball toward the shortstop, and shortstop Hwang Jae-gyun chose first base instead of home, and third base runner Kim Seong-yoon stepped home.

Kim Ji-chan, who we met after the game, said, “There was no victory this week, and today (18th) was the last game, so I really wanted to win. I think everyone won because I did well,” he said. “This week felt a little long. (Kang) Min-ho hyung, who briefly replaced (Oh) Jae-il as the captain, tried to make the atmosphere good, and the young players saw that and were able to fight more. He was also comfortable mentally,” he said, leaving his impression of victory.

He was on a five-game losing streak, so his mindset for the game was different. Kim Ji-chan said, “Anyway, when I play a game like this, I feel pressure, but I was desperate to win because I was in a losing streak.” I felt sorry for not being able to win even though many fans came to visit us. It was very regretful to lose the game,” he confessed honestly.

The leaders who stabilized young Kim Ji-chan’s mentality were coach Park Jin-man and grandson Joo-in. Kim Ji-chan said, “When I make a defensive mistake, my grandson coach says it’s okay.” He advised me not to notice because it’s okay to make mistakes on the ballpark. Because you said that, I was able to play with a little more confidence,” he expressed his gratitude.

Kim Ji-chan, born in 2001, is Samsung’s youngest player, but the moment he puts on an infielder’s glove, he becomes the leader of the infield team leading rookies such as Lee Jae-hyun and Kim Young-woong. Does he have any difficulties when leading players younger than himself at such a young age?

Kim Ji-chan said, “If juniors make mistakes, they say it’s okay because anyone can make mistakes. Even players who are good at defense make mistakes, so I tell them to forget it quickly,” he said. “But it depends on each person’s ability. It’s up to you to accept it. Until a few years ago, (Kim) Sang-soo hyung and (Lee) Won-seok hyung took care of me. Now it’s time for me to take care of it, but everyone is so good at it, so I’m not worried.” He smiled.

Kim Ji-chan may have injured his left knee during the match, and the knee part of his pants was wet with blood. When I asked Kim Ji-chan about this, he said, “I think I bleed after stealing bases. But in fact, that part kept peeling and the flesh became weak.”

It was a bloody fighting spirit, so he seemed to feel no pain at all. What was more important than the scars was Samsung’s escape from 5 consecutive losses. In the end, the abrasions on his knees did not stop his race to victory.

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