Gyeongbuk High School, a prestigious baseball team, held the blue dragon flag in its arms for the first time in 30 years since Lee Seung-yeop메이저놀이터(47) was the manager of the Doosan Bears. Perhaps their victory in the Blue Dragon Flag was fate. Jeon Mir (18), whose name is “Yong” in pure Korean, won the MVP award, and starting pitcher Lee Seung-heon (18) celebrated his birthday with seven scoreless innings. Coach Lee Joon-ho (47), who participated as a player in 1993, his last championship, gave his alma mater his eighth blue dragon flag as the head coach this time.
Kyungpook High School beat Mulgeum 4-1 to reach the top of Cheongnyonggi in the 78th Cheongnyonggi National High School Baseball Championship and weekend league Wangjungwang final held at Mokdong Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 27th. It is the first national championship in eight years since winning the Bonghwangdaegi in 2015 and the 22nd national championship. With his eighth Cheongnyonggi victory, he closely followed Gyeongnam High School (9 times), the most winning team in the tournament.
It was largely due to starter Lee Seung-heon’s excellent crisis management skills and the batters’ concentration in scoring early in the game. “Gyeongbuk High School Otani” Jeon Mir played four times and designated hitter due to a limited number of pitches and recorded two hits and two RBIs in three at-bats, including a winning hit in the bottom of the first inning, while starting pitcher Lee Seung-heon threw 104 pitches until the seventh inning, winning with seven hits, three outs, and five strikeouts.
It was an unexpected victory before the competition. There was ace Jeon Mir, but it was evaluated that his power was relatively weak. It was a difficult situation in which Jeon Mir, Park Kyung-do, and Kim Byung-joon could not take the mound in the final, but Lee Seung-heon, who only took the mound as a bullpen in this tournament, played more innings than expected. He also won the championship for the first time in 30 years with a timely hit in the right place.
After the game, head coach Lee Joon-ho said, “I was expecting three to four innings and was thinking of running the game afterwards, but (Lee) Seung-heon threw unexpectedly well,” adding, “Seung-heon threw a lot in the first half of this year, so the ball was good during training.” Originally, it was (former) Mir and a one-two punch. “The fastball and slider from the tall height are fine and came out at a maximum of 145 kilometers per hour,” he praised.
Coach Lee, who led Lee Seung-yeop and Kyungpook High School to their seventh Cheongnyonggi championship in the past, took office in 2019 and focused on the Cheongnyonggi championship following the semifinals of the association organ (currently E-Mart Cup). Coach Lee said, “It would be a lie if there was no pressure because you expected a lot. “I couldn’t sleep all night yesterday, but I think I can sleep a little comfortably today because I had good results,” he said with a smile.
Kyungpook High School ace Jeon Mir was unable to take the mound in the final due to a limit on the number of pitches, but he showed off his talent to his heart’s content by starting as the fourth and designated hitter and scoring the winning hit.
Like the name “Mir (dragon’s pure Korean)” that his father named him himself, he was reborn as the best star of the Blue Dragon era. As a pitcher of this tournament, Jeon Mir recorded 15 strikeouts with 13 scoreless innings, 6 walks (three walks, three balls), and a batting average of 0.267 (4 hits in 15 at-bats), 4 RBIs and 6 walks (two walks), winning the MVP and honors.
Immediately after winning, Jeon Mir said, “It’s been a while since I felt this way, so the camera is new and I want to share this joy with my friends.” As for the undervalued power, “Such an evaluation rather served as a motivation for us. He said, “I tried harder when I practiced and somehow tried to shake off my bad performance.”
In the 2024 KBO Rookie Draft in September, Jeon Mir is mentioned as a promising player who is expected to be nominated in the first round. Coach Lee valued his chances as a pitcher a little higher, but Jeon Mir still didn’t want to let go of both pitching and batting. “I can’t help it if it doesn’t work, but it’s true that I still want to do both,” he said adding, “I think this tournament was better on the mound.” “It’s a little more fun to play, but I couldn’t play today’s game when I had to keep scoring, and I don’t think I’ll be satisfied because I did everything in the beginning.” He added, “It’s a shame that I couldn’t manage the number of pitches as a pitcher.”
His favorite player was Ohtani Shohei (29, Los Angeles Angels), and his favorite team was the Samsung Lions. Jeon Mir said, “Because I was born in Daegu, I grew up watching Samsung baseball. That’s why I liked Samsung, he said. “Ottani is my role model. As a pitcher, it is good to have a mentality that goes straight into the game without being scared and a stamina that is okay to throw for a long time. “As a batter, he is good at hitting strong pitches and has faster feet than I thought,” he appealed.
The best player in the final was starter Lee Seung-heon, who pitched seven scoreless innings. He took the mound twice only as a bullpen in this tournament, but did not lose a point in the final by striking out with a breaking ball that fell every crisis. Lee Seung-heon is a right-handed pitcher with an attractive fastball, slider, curve, and splitter from his tall height with a height of 190cm and 95kg.
Lee Seung-heon said, “I think today was the day. He may have seemed calm in the crisis, but he was very nervous. “However, when the shortstop made a mistake, I thought I would blame myself if I couldn’t, so I tried to block it from my line, but it went well,” he said.
Lee Seung-heon, who picked Samsung’s Choi Choong-yeon and Won Tae-in as his role models, showed his best pitching on the day he was born (July 27, 2005). “I think it’s the best birthday present,” he said with a big smile.