Heroes’ second baseman looking for better experience in 2nd Korean Series trip

INCHEON, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) — Kiwoom Heroes second baseman Kim Hye-seong is playing in the South Korean baseball postseason for the fifth straight year. And the 23-year-old has been improving at the plate with each passing series.

He is now hoping he will peak in time for the Korean Series, the championship round in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

The Heroes will take on the SSG Landers in the best-of-seven series beginning Tuesday evening at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, about 30 kilometers west of Seoul. Kim is entering the showdown swinging a hot bat, after batting .375 in a four-game win over the LG Twins in the second round and .318 in a five-game victory over the KT Wiz in the opening phase.

Kim Hye-seong of the Kiwoom Heroes hits an RBI single against the LG Twins during the bottom of the first inning of Game 4 of the second round in the Korea Baseball Organization postseason at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Oct. 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

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This is Kim’s second Korean Series appearance. He went hitless in 11 at-bats in 2019, as the Heroes got swept by the Doosan Bears, and Kim doesn’t want a repeat of that.

“I’ve not really been a good postseason hitter, but luckily, I’ve been hitting with a high average this time around,” Kim said in a pregame media scrum in the visiting dugout. “I’d like to leave with more fond memories of the Korean Series than 2019.”

As a six-year vet, Kim falls on the older side on this youthful Heroes team. His double play partner, Kim Whee-jip, is just 20 with just one full season under his belt.

Kim Hye-seong said he’s been trying to keep his younger teammates relaxed for what will be the biggest games of their lives.

“When I was in my first postseason, older guys tried to make me feel more comfortable,” Kim said. “I really appreciated that and I am trying to do the same and pay it forward.”

After Kim Whee-jip made an error during an earlier postseason game, Kim Hye-seong pulled him aside and cracked some jokes.

“I told him, ‘Relax. You have someone next to you who’s even worse,'” Kim said, referring to himself. “Whee-jip can handle himself, though. I don’t really need to tell him that much.”