How sweep it is: KT Wiz defeat Doosan Bears in 4 straight for 1st Korean Series title

SEOUL-- This must be magic: the KT Wiz are champions of South Korean baseball for the first time in their seven-year history.

The Wiz defeated the Doosan Bears 8-4 to complete a four-game sweep of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Thursday. Captain Hwang Jae-gyun delivered a pair of RBI doubles, and Jared Hoying landed the knockout punch with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

Veteran second baseman Park Kyung-su, who missed the clincher with a leg injury suffered Wednesday, still earned the Korean Serie MVP honor. He batted 2-for-8 with a home run in three games, but it was with his glove that Park made his biggest impact on the series. The 37-year-old earned 67 out of 90 votes from the media.

This is the ninth four-game sweep out of 39 Korean Series played in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). No team has rallied from a 3-0 Korean Series deficit in 12 tries.

Right-hander Bae Je-seong held the Bears to three runs over five innings to become the fourth straight Wiz starter to win in this series. The Wiz became the first club to have four starters each win a game in a Korean Series sweep.

The Wiz had earned a bye to the Korean Series after winning the regular season crown, while the Bears reached a record seventh straight Korean Series by playing through three stages of the postseason as the No. 4 seed.

The Wiz joined the KBO in 2015 and finished last in each of their first three seasons. They made their first postseason last year, but lost to the Bears in the penultimate round. This year, they got the better of the Bears to reach the pinnacle.

With a stranglehold on the series, the Wiz didn't mess around on Thursday. They scored three times in the top of the first, and knocked Doosan starter Gwak Been out of the game before the inning was even done.

Leadoff Cho Yong-ho drew a walk and Hwang Jae-gyun brought him home with a double off the top of the left-center wall.

A walk put two runners aboard, and Jung Sung-woo cashed in a run with a two-out single.

Bae Jung-dae, the next batter, lined a single to center to make it 3-0 Wiz. Gwak's night was done.

The Wiz extended their lead in the second inning, with Hwang picking up his second RBI of the night with another double -- this time, splitting the gap in right center. Three batters later, Jared Hoying made it 5-0 for the Wiz with a single to center.

The Bears cut the deficit to 5-1 thanks to Kim Jae-hwan's RBI double in the bottom fourth, but the Wiz answered right back in the top fifth.

Shin Bon-ki, starting in place of injured veteran Park Kyung-su, opened that inning with a solo home run to left field. Shin's first career postseason home run put the Wiz ahead 6-1.

The Bears cut the deficit to 6-3 in the bottom sixth. Starter Bae Je-seong got the hook after giving up a leadoff walk and a double. Then facing reliever Ju Kwon, Jose Miguel Fernandez singled both runners home to make things more interesting.

The Bears threatened to eat further into the Wiz's lead in the seventh, but for the umpteenth time this series, defense saved the day for the Wiz.

With two outs and a man at second, center fielder Bae Jung-dae made a slick sliding catch on a sinking liner by Jung Soo-bin. Bae had just misplayed a shallow fly ball by pinch hitter An Jae-seok for a double, and more than redeemed himself with the game-saving grab.

After dodging that bullet, the Wiz put the game further out of reach in the top eighth. Hoying turned on a fastball from reliever Kim Kang-ryul for a towering two-run shot to right field, and the lead ballooned to 8-3.

The Bears got a run back in the bottom eighth with Kim Jae-hwan's solo home run, which came immediately after Fernandez had grounded into a double play.

Closer Kim Jae-yoon, who came on to get the final out in the eighth, finished off the game with a ninth inning for his third save of the series.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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