Hanwha Pitcher Yoon Keun-Young hits a single

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I'm trying to catch up on some of the news stories I missed over the past week or so. One of the more interesting stories occurred on Sunday (Apr 28) in Incheon when Hanwha relief pitcher Yoon Keun-Young hit a single in the top of the 12th inning against the SK Wyverns. If you are unfamiliar with Korean professional baseball and are wondering why this is a big deal, the Korean league uses (and has always used) the Designated Hitter rule. The last time a pitcher recorded a hit was May 21, 2008 in Gwangju, when former SK pitcher and current Doosan coach Ka Deuk-Yeom hit a single against the KIA Tigers.

Yoon came to the plate after Hanwha's second DH of the game, Cho Jung-Won, entered the field at shortstop in the bottom of the 9th. Under DH rules, when a designated hitter is moved to a fielding position, the team forfeits its DH and the pitcher must bat for the rest of the game. When Yoon's position in the order finally came up in the bottom of the 12th with two outs, Hanwha had already used six pinch hitters/runners earlier in the game and had few options left in the dugout. Additionally, sending Yoon to the plate would allow him to return to the mound in the bottom of the 12th. With the count at 1-1 Yoon hit a line drive up the middle and reached first base.

It was Yoon's first ever at-bat in his five years in the KBO. His career batting average now stands at 1.000.

Unfortunately, Yoon's hit would prove to make no difference in the outcome of the game. The next batter, first baseman Kim Tae-Kyun, reached first base with a walk, putting Yoon into scoring position, but the following batter, Cho Jung-Won struck out, ending the inning. SK also failed to score in the bottom of the 12th and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

See video of Yoon's hit below.