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KBO Roundup: Former White Sox Saladino, Despaigne make debuts

by Joe Binder

Well, this is one thing I never thought I’d be writing about in May but after last night, I’m fired up and jumping aboard the KBO train. The professional South Korean league had their Opening Day earlier today with games airing during the early morning hours both online and on ESPN. And boy did it feel good to finally have live sports back, especially with it being baseball.

As I touched on yesterday in an article, former White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino is among those playing in South Korea, which gives us a little rooting interest in this whole thing. Both he and former starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne made their debuts and believe it or not, played decently well. Before I go any further, I just want to preface this by saying that Saladino is on the Samsung Lions and Despaigne is on the KT Wiz. This comes in handy, epsecially if you’re reading about this for the first time and don’t know which teams to follow just yet.

Let’s begin now with our guy Tyler Saladino, who found himself slotted in the three-hole as the Lions’ starting shortstop. In his first at-bat, he hit a seeing-eye single through the left hand side for hit number one in the KBO. Just a beautiful piece of hitting that left Sox fans amped.

He would later work the walk in his following at-bat and celebrated with the very safe elbow tap. Got to appreciate it, along with the sick flow as well. Nicky Delmonico has some serious competition over there so someone alert him!

Sally would get out in both of his final at-bats to finish the night 1-for-3 with his single and walk. The Lions couldn’t do much either, as they only recorded just three hits the whole game in a 4-0 loss against the NC Dinos.

Moving on to the infamous Odrisamer Despaigne, who got the Opening Day nod for the KT Wiz. A first pitch strike set the tone in what was a masterful 1-2-3 first inning. He looked so good that he even prompted the alerts on Twitter.

Despaigne would unfortunately lose the perfecto in the second after a strikeout went off the catcher’s glove and allowed for the runner to reach first. But don’t worry, he would go on to carry his no-hit efforts into the fourth and finish his debut with six strong innings. I will say it was exceptionally fun to watch the hitters in the box because they looked baffled by almost every pitch. Some did pirouettes in an attempt to reach a ball that landed in the other batter’s box while others just watched the heat go down the heart of the zone.

Odrisamer would finish with an impressive line of 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 8 K. Unfortunately, the KT Wiz bullpen and offense couldn’t back up this quality start as they dropped their game by a final of 7-2.

Elsewhere around the league, a fire delayed another game because it’s 2020 and that’s just what happens. There were also a pretty sick bat flips to get you wired for future action. Funny how that sort of thing is embraced over there…


KBO Scoreboard

LG Twins 8, Doosan Bears 2

Hanwha Eagles 3, SK Wyverns 0

NC Dinos 4, Samsung Lions 0

Lotte Giants 7, KT Wiz 2

Kiwoom Heroes 11, Kia Tigers 2

For more from around the league, check out the KBO website here.


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Featured Photo: White Sox/Twitter


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