SK Wyverns v Nexen Heroes, Sunday 26th September 2010, 5pm.

The baseball season has been limping towards the end of the regular season for a while now, with the four play-off positions having been determined what seems like ages ago. This though, really was the end, the 133rd and final game for each side.

I hadn’t even been aware that this game had been on until my friend Paul and I arrived to watch the Incheon v Jeonbuk football game at the stadium next door. The final few fixtures tend to be ones that have been re-arranged, often at short notice and the information can be a bit unreliable. Earlier in the month I’d turned up at this stadium for an advertised game only to find that the Wyverns were actually playing two hundred miles away in Busan.

As we were here though, it would have been a shame not to have gone in and watched. They have beer and pork dumplings and it was a sunny day, although starting to get a little cooler as summer finally seemed to be slipping away. There’s times when I would have paid far more than the eight thousand won ticket price to sit in an empty stadium for that combination.

Late afternoon, late summer, late season.

SK Wyverns are top of the league and they will be going straight into the final of the Korean Series where they will play whichever team emerges triumphant from the play-offs. It won’t be Nexen though, they have had a poor season and have ended up second bottom of the eight teams.

With the result not really mattering both sides took the opportunity to give some of their fringe players a run out. SK used a couple of pitchers in the early stages that Nexen didn’t have any trouble in taking a few runs off. At 4-0 down in the third, with the bases loaded and the game slipping away, SK decided enough was enough and brought on a pitcher who, judging by the enthusiastic reaction of the home fans, had at least played the game before.

I've no idea either.

The new lad rattled through the Nexen batters at a fair rate, stopping them from scoring any more until it was decided to give someone else a turn in the seventh innings. At that stage though it was still 4-0 to Nexen, the SK Wyverns batters demonstrating the same apparent unfamiliarity with the sport that the early Nexen pitchers had.

The food stalls were quiet too.

It all changed in the eighth innings though as SK decided to send in a couple of blokes who at least managed to grip the right end of the bat. Nexen tried to cheat a bit by deliberately pitching wide and ‘walking’ them, or at least I assume they did, perhaps the throws were as close as they could get.

Time to light the sparklers.

It couldn’t last though and SK quickly rattled off four runs in the eighth to bring the scores level. It stayed that way until as close to extra innings as you can get. SK had two men out in the ninth when, with a bloke on second base, the batter cracked one far enough for his mate to get home for a 5-4 win. It made for an exciting end to what was a meaningless but enjoyable fixture.

5-4

The crowd was pretty good though, with the stadium being about half full and the Wyverns fans keeping up the support to the finish. There weren’t many there from Nexen, but I suspect they have already put away their gear until next season.

At the end the lights were dimmed for a lap of honour and the Wyverns players threw baseballs into the crowd. An interesting thing to do in the dark.

Mind your heads.

The evening’s entertainment finished with a pretty impressive firework display to round off the season in style. It would have been well worth going even if they hadn’t had any pork dumplings.

That's all, folks.

It’s the play-offs now and I’ll be looking to get to at least one of each of the three pairings, probably ending up back at this stadium in about three weeks time where I expect to see a capacity crowd.

One Response to “SK Wyverns v Nexen Heroes, Sunday 26th September 2010, 5pm.”

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