The first opponent of the Korean baseball team to sortie for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) is Australia. Korea, which belongs to Group B of the first round, will start the WBC campaign starting with a match against Australia at the Tokyo Dome in Japan from 12:00 noon on March 9th.
The Australian national team is full of players belonging to the Australian professional baseball. There are also two players who have experience in the major leagues. It is evaluated as ‘one step lower’ than Korea, but it is forbidden to be careless.
Among the members of the Australian national team, the most familiar face is right-handed pitcher Warwick Saupold (33). Saupold is one of two players who have experienced the major leagues in the Australian national team, and also played for the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League in 2019-2020.
Saupold is definitely a player who worked in the KBO league. He produced splendid records such as a shutout in the opening game and 17 consecutive quality starts (QS). In 2019, Saupold, who threw 192⅓ innings, nearly 200 innings, and played the role of an ace with a record of 12-11 and an ERA of 3.51, digested 165 innings in 2020 and fell short of expectations with 10-13 and an ERA of 4.91, and eventually in 2021 I couldn’t step on Korean soil. 슬롯사이트
Almost three years have passed since Saupold left Korea. Saupold is currently a member of the Perth Heat of the Australian Professional Baseball League, and in the 2022-2023 season, 3 wins and 2 losses with an average ERA of 5.56, he did not leave a very impressive record.
However, against Geelong Korea, which is composed of active players in the KBO League, he showed a good fight without fail. On November 26 of last year, in the game against Geelong Korea, Saupold, who pitched 7 innings and gave up 6 hits and no runs, showed an impressive appearance by recording a speed of 148km from the 1st inning. was On January 8, he met Geelong Korea again and showed good pitching with 7 hits and 2 runs in 6 innings.
For now, we should also keep in mind the possibility that Saupold, who has experience in the KBO league, will start the game against Korea. If the Korean national team meets Saupold in the match against Australia, the first round of the WBC, will they be able to respond smoothly? Of course, it is true that Saupold fought well against a team made up of Korean players in his home league, but most of Saupold’s fastball velocity is in the low to mid-140km range, so it is not a pitcher that is impossible to attack, and that Geelong Korea is mostly composed of promising players. Considering this, there seems to be no reason to deal with it with a huge burden. However, carelessness is not allowed. He has to sew the first button well so that the process and outcome of meeting Japan, the next opponent, may be different.