“He plays like a role model.”

Samsung Lions Ryu Ji-hyeok started at first base in the No. 5 spot against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Sunday. He went 3-for-4 with a home run, a run scored, and three stolen bases. Samsung won the game 4-2.안전놀이터

Ryu Ji-hyuk showed off his batting ability. Not only that, but he also stole bases after getting on base, shaking up the defense and creating multiple scoring opportunities. Ryu’s unselfish play helped energize Samsung.

From his first at-bat, Ryu produced a hit. Leading off the second inning, Ryu took a 134-kilometer changeup from starter Casey Kelly and lined it to left field. With two outs, Ryu stole second base. With Kang retired to catcher Paul Pulai, the next batter, Kim Dong-jin, stole second.

Ryu’s stealing instincts continued. Ryu stole second base on Lee Jae-hyun’s single. He stole third base when Kim Jae-sung singled. He avoided the tag of Moon Bo-kyung, the opposing third baseman, and touched the base. Ryu shook the LG defense by stealing two bases in the second inning alone.

In his second at-bat of the fourth inning, he also got a hit. Leading off with a walk, Ryu flicked Kelly’s first pitch, a 141-mph slider, for a single to right field. Standing on first base, Ryu tried to steal again. He stole second base on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

In his third at-bat of the sixth inning, Ryu reached on an infield single. Ryu hit a fastball toward the second baseman. Shin Min-jae, the second baseman, leaped to make the catch and throw to first base, but Ryu had already reached first base. In the last at-bat of the eighth inning, he was caught on a fly ball by the shortstop.

Ryu Ji-hyuk has been on a roll since joining Samsung. After moving from the KIA Tigers to Samsung in a five-player trade last July, Ryu has become a completely different player. In 29 games since becoming a Lionsman, he has 107 hits, 33 doubles, one home run, a .308 batting average, a .350 slugging percentage, and a .705 OPS. His last 10 games are even better. In 34 at-bats, he has 14 hits, four doubles, six RBIs, and a .412 OPS.

Ryu Ji-hyeok has become like light and salt for Samsung. Even his manager is full of praise. Park Jin-man said, “Ryu Ji-hyuk is a player who shows that ‘in a nutshell, this is how you play baseball’. I would like to evaluate him as a player whose play is worthy of being a role model for many players.”

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