It’s time for ‘Open K’, a new program of Jeonbuk 7 News.
In ‘Open K’, we will hear the stories of our neighbors, youth, and local personalities who have made headlines in Jeonbuk,
Today’s edition of ‘Open K’ kicks off with the story of the Gunsan Sangil High School baseball team, the ‘masters of reversal’ who won the National High School Baseball Championship for the first time in 37 years.
I’m Kang Min-je, captain of the Sangil High School baseball team in Gunsan.
Last month, we won the Presidential Award after a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the Presidential Baseball Tournament.
It’s been 37 years since we’ve won the President’s Cup, and you’re still getting a lot of congratulations, right?
Yes, winning the President’s Cup made me realize once again that Gunsan Sangil High School baseball team is the baseball team of Gunsan citizens and the baseball team of North Jeolla Province.
At the finals, alumni, the mayor of Gunsan, the chairman of the Gunsan City Council, and council members attended and cheered us on, and after we won, the governor of Jeollabuk-do, the mayor of Gunsan, and the superintendent of education of Jeollabuk-do invited our baseball team to give us congratulations and words of encouragement.
On August 21, we held a welcome party for the Gunsan Sangil High School baseball team, inviting players, parents, alumni seniors, local dignitaries, and school staff to share the joy of winning the championship.
In addition to hoisting the President’s Cup banner, you also swept eight other awards, including Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year.
What were the awards recognized for?
The individual awards that we won were Most Valuable Player, Pitcher of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Achievement Award.
The coach’s award, coaching award, and merit award are given to the head coach, baseball manager, and principal, the best player award is given to the player who played the most in all the games of the Presidential Games, and the best pitcher award is given to the best pitcher in the Presidential Games, both of which were won by our pitcher Jung Min-sung.
The Most Valuable Player is awarded to the player who contributed the most to the team’s victory.
Park Chan-woo, who hit the game-winning hit in the final game, received this award.
The Migi Award is given to the player who shows great defense by using the word beautifully.
This award was given to our second baseman, Park Sung-bin.
Although I didn’t win any individual awards in this tournament, I’m just as happy as my teammates who helped us win.
What made this game even more thrilling was the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning,
winning the game, did you have a premonition?
Our alumni are masters of upsets, and they say that we had a hard time not just winning, but winning from behind.
Our team was never considered a favorite in the media.
However, I am very proud of this victory because all of our players, especially our coach, trained harder than anyone else.
On our school’s cheering banner at the stadium, it said, “We inherited the DNA of Gunsan Sanggo, a team that came from behind.
I think we were able to pull off a thrilling come-from-behind victory thanks to our alumni seniors, who literally inherited the DNA of Gunsan Sanggo, the masters of reversal.
Kang Min-je also scored a run in the final game with a single in the bottom of the first inning, but it wasn’t a smooth ride from the start, was it?
What was the hardest thing about this tournament?
First of all, the difficulty in the final was not only for our school, but also for our opponent, Incheon High School.
In the semifinals, not only our school but also Incheon High School won a close game, so the ace pitchers of each school were unable to play in the final due to the pitch count limit for player protection.
However, our school had many great pitchers, not just Jung Min-sung.
I think they just didn’t perform well under the pressure of the big stage of the finals.
We played five games in a row with a day or two between games to get to the final.
The coaching staff and all of our players were physically exhausted.
We won the semifinals in 10 extra innings and the final in nine.
It was a tough game until the end, but I guess that’s the beauty of baseball.
I felt and learned from this again that I need to focus until the end.
This is the first championship in 37 years, and it follows the old Gunsan Sango’s reputation as a team that can come from behind.
Expectations are high, and there must be a lot of pride among the players.
On the other hand, there is also a lot of pressure,
How are the players actually doing?
I think our players are more grateful than anything else.
As we are nicknamed Gunsan Sango, the masters of reversal, our baseball team receives a lot of support from our alumni, seniors, and local residents.
This support makes our players even more proud and honored to play with the name Gunsan Sangil on their jerseys.
I think the congratulations we received after this victory made them feel even better.
I’m looking forward to the future of Gunsan Sang-il and the baseball team,
what are your goals and plans for the baseball team?
I don’t know about big goals or plans.
Our baseball team is known for its hard training.
Our players often use the phrase ‘Sango spirit’ during training.
It means, “If it doesn’t work, do it until it does.
I think if we can continue this spirit, we will be able to achieve good results in the future.
Kang Min-je, what kind of athlete do you personally want to be in the future?
Our baseball team is currently preparing for the 104th National Sports Festival in October,
I would like to finish the season well and become a player who strives to be the best player on whatever team I am on in the future.