‘Legend Iwase surpassed’ closer Oh Seung-hwan breaks record for most saves in Asian single league

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Samsung Lions closer Oh Seung-hwan (42) broke the record for the most saves in a single Asian league.

Seung-hwan Oh pitched one inning of one-hit ball with one strikeout and no walks in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead against the Kiwoom Heroes in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome on Saturday. He preserved Samsung’s victory. With the win, Oh earned his 408th career save in the KBO, breaking the record for the most saves in a single Asian league held by Hitoki Iwase, a legendary pitcher for the Junichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Seung-hwan Oh did not allow a run. In the bottom of the ninth, after getting the leadoff hitter Choi Joo-hwan to fly out to center and Ko Young-woo to fly out to right, Oh Seung-hwan gave up a double to Kim Jae-hyun in left field. However, Oh struck out Byun Sang-kwon for the final out.

“I knew I was going to set the record for the most saves in the Asian Single League,” Oh said after the game. I didn’t think about it during the game. Fortunately, the guys gave up three runs and I was able to pitch in a comfortable situation. I told Won Tae-in that we could win the game if he pitched seven innings, and I’m glad I was able to fulfill that promise,” he said, adding that he was happy to make history.

Oh Seung-hwan has wanted to surpass Iwase’s record for a long time. He already holds numerous records, including 500 saves in Korea and Japan and 400 saves in the KBO, but he coveted the record for most saves in a single Asian league. Oh, of course, played for the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball from 2014 to 2015, and then for the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, and Colorado Rockies in Major League Baseball from 2016 to 2019. Iwase played exclusively for the Chunichi Dragons from 1999 to 2019. Seung-hwan Oh’s record is even more impressive.

“It was always a goal of mine to surpass (Iwase’s record),” Oh said. I don’t put much importance on the record, but Korea’s baseball history is shorter than Japan’s. Nevertheless, I would like to say that I set the record for the most saves in a single league in Asia. I also hope that this record will make Korean baseball a little better known. I hope younger players will also play baseball with this goal in mind,” he said proudly.

Oh Seung-hwan has been showing more power this season. He’s also seeing synergy with the bullpen, which includes free agents Lim Chang-min and Kim Jae-yoon. “The bullpen is running stably,” Oh said. With Lim Chang-min in the seventh inning and Kim Jae-yoon in the eighth, it has stabilized. We are enjoying that effect. I think we’re showing good form because we’re doing what we’re supposed to do in training,” he said, giving credit to his teammates.

What does it mean to Oh to hold the record for most saves in a single Asian league? “I’m proud of it. As I said before, Korean professional baseball 토토사이트 has a shorter history than Japan, and I’m happy to have set the record only for Samsung. I want to give myself a pat on the back, and I want to tell the Samsung players who played with me while I made 408 saves that they really worked hard. I want to take this opportunity to thank my teammates,” he said, bowing his head.

Oh is happy to set the record while the team is on an upswing. Last year, on October 14 against the Daegu SSG Landers in the final home regular season game, Oh reached 400 career KBO saves. But it wasn’t all joy. Samsung’s performance was poor. This time, however, was different. “When I reached 500 saves, I was very disappointed because the team was not performing well. This year, it’s early in the season, but I’m happy to set the record in a bright atmosphere,” he laughs.

Seung-hwan Oh’s goal this season is to keep his team winning. “This year, I want to have the fewest blown saves among the 10 closers. I want to protect the lead that the players have created with their hard work,” he concluded the interview.

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