Oh Jae-il (Samsung), the ‘slow starter’, led the team to a 5-game winning streak by hitting an extra-final home run on the last day of April. With the home run on the day, Jae-il Oh expressed his determination to show off a better bat in May.
The Samsung Lions won the 3rd game of the season against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the 30th, 1-0 after an extended game. As a result of this day, he recorded 12 wins and 12 losses in the season, running 5 consecutive wins with a sweep of 3 consecutive matches. On the 6th, after the Daegu Hanwha match안전놀이터 (2 wins, 2 losses), the win rate recovered to 50% in 24 days.
Captain Oh Jae-il started as first baseman No. 5 and became a Distinguished Player with 2 hits (1 home run) and 1 RBI in 4 at-bats. The home run came at the most important moment. In the 10th overtime against 0-0, KT finished after 1 run.
After the game, Oh Jae-il said, “Since the opponent is a pitcher with a good fastball, I thought he would swing at a fastball from the moment he entered the plate, but a home run came out.” Homeruns are coming out one by one, and good batted balls are coming out one by one. He believes it will get better and better.”
Oh Jae-il, a representative slow starter in the KBO League, suffered from a sluggish batting average of 107.7 before the game. As Jae-il Oh, the central hitter, was sluggish for a month, Samsung also had a hard time before winning 5 consecutive wins. Then, on the 27th, he hit a home run against Doosan in Daegu and a final home run in extra time that day, signaling a rebound.
Oh Jae-il said, “It’s not right, but I thought I had to solve it in the clutch situation. Still, it feels so good that the team can continue its winning streak with a decisive home run,” he said. “The team is doing well and I am getting better little by little. As time goes by, I wonder if I and the team will become stronger.”
Oh Jae-il was also the reliable eldest brother of the infield team that led young infielders such as Kim Young-woong, Kim Jae-sang, and Lee Jae-hyun that day. He said, “The hero and the prime minister must have been very nervous, but I tried to make them as comfortable as possible. I didn’t say anything special. He helped me to do the same as during practice and encouraged me to do well.”
Samsung recovered its winning rate to 50% by running 5 consecutive victories with this game. Coincidentally, all five wins were by one point. Oh Jae-il said, “As I catch a difficult game, the young players and our team are growing little by little. I think everyone will gain confidence by catching a tight game.”
Throughout the interview, Jaeil Oh answered the reporters’ questions with a slightly embarrassed expression. When asked why, he said, “My batting average is the lowest, but I keep doing interviews. I’m the worst at it… ” he said with a shy smile.