Dongguk University coach Lee Kun-yeol (60), a former Tigers star, led the team to the top once again in seven years. He gave the ball to the students who did their best even with a small number of people, and he expected that his interest in college baseball would continue.아톰카지노
Dongguk University jointly won the championship with Korea University as the final match of the 78th National Collegiate Baseball Championship, scheduled to be held at Hongcheon Baseball Stadium on the 11th, was canceled due to rain. Dongguk University’s national championship is the first since the 71st National Collegiate Baseball Championship in 2016.
Director Lee Kun-yeol said in a phone call with Star News, “The finals were also an opportunity for the players to show off their skills, but it’s a pity that they couldn’t do it.” I am grateful to the players for working so hard,” he said.
In this tournament, Dongguk University took 22 players, unlike other teams with 50 to 60 baseball teams. Excluding the injured, it was all the more valuable because it was a team victory with less than 20 people. While playing 5 games from the 1st, the team showed an even performance with an ERA of 1.03 and a batting average of 0.324.
Manager Lee said, “It’s hard to pick just one and praise it. You should receive all the compliments, but I was impressed to see players who didn’t even play the game throw the ball and help both physically and mentally even though they were seniors. You guys are weak compared to other teams, even from my point of view. So let’s work harder,’ but I think I got motivated.
Dongguk University’s baseball team is taking a commemorative photo after jointly winning with Korea University at the 78th National Collegiate Baseball Championship held in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do on the 11th./Photo = Courtesy of Director Lee Geon-yeol
Some college teams only play 12 games a year.
Founded in 1946, the Dongguk University baseball team reached its second heyday in 2013 with Lee Kun-yeol as head coach after Kim In-sik (76), former national team coach, led the team in the early 1980s. Director Lee, who graduated from Gunsan Commercial High School and Dongguk University, played only for Haetae (now KIA) for 12 years from 1986 to 1997 as a member of the ‘Tigers Dynasty’. After taking over as head coach of Dongguk University, he raised the reputation of the school by winning 9 championships up to this tournament.
However, despite his remarkable performance, he expressed regret over the ever-decreasing interest in college baseball. Director Lee lamented, “In the past, an official told me, ‘What do you do when you win? There’s not a single line in the newspaper.’ It hurt so much at that time.”
The representative regret is the small number of games and poor stadium infrastructure. Unlike the high school stage where there are 7 national tournaments such as the Golden Lion Flag, Blue Dragon Flag, Presidential Cup, Phoenix Standing Cup, Shinsegae E-Mart Cup, etc. only 3 competitions There are also schools that do not participate in the presidential period, so if they do not advance to the Wangjungwangjeon, the worst case is that they play only 12 games (11 league games, the first game of the National College Baseball Championship) and the year ends.
Coach Lee Kun-yeol said, “College baseball games are 11 league games, two tournaments, and a few more games after winning the championship, but some teams finish a year with 12 games. I want to be able to say that I am an elite sportsperson while playing a game.” He raised his voice and said, “It is unfortunate. I don’t understand this well,” he lamented.
“College baseball players are mature and desperate”
Although the number of games is small, pro team scouts go to college baseball games with a sense of duty. It is to see the development of players who were unfortunately not nominated in high school and at the same time to find hidden gems. It is said that about 30 people, including scouts from 10 KBO teams and major leagues, stopped by Hongcheon Baseball Stadium for this tournament. However, when the Blue Dragon High School Baseball Tournament began, the scouts stopped walking.
Director Lee Geon-yeol said, “Hongcheon Baseball Stadium is the place where the finals were held, but there are no seats for scouts or school officials to sit and watch. The reality is that parents pitch a tent and watch. It’s a finals in its own way, but the publicity wasn’t done properly.” As soon as the tournament started, no one came. It’s sad, but I can’t help it. There’s no place to sit, but anyone would want to see it in a cool place like Mokdong Stadium.”
He was concerned that the reality that college baseball is gradually losing its place would have an adverse effect on professional baseball. Director Lee said, “I think 30% of the applicants still need to be selected in the KBO draft. I would like to see if the opportunity goes to college players even in the second round. There are many players who quit after doing it. When those players go to college, they study and look for other careers, but that part is regrettable.”
He continued, “There are many good players in college baseball. They are (relatively) more mature and eager than high school students.”