The protagonist who relieved the 30-year blue dragon period that Gyeongbuk High School had been waiting for was Jeon Mi-re of ‘Lee Do-ryu’. Mir Jeon led the national championship with impressive performances in both pitching and hitting. With the rookie nomination approaching, Jeon Mir did not hide his affection for the Samsung Lions, who he saw and grew up in his hometown, Daegu.
Gyeongbuk High School won 4-1 in the final match between Water Vault and Cheongryonggi held at Mokdong Stadium in Seoul on July 27th. Gyeongbuk High School lifted the Blue Dragon Flag trophy 30 years after winning the 1993 Blue Dragon Flag competition with head coach Lee Seung-yeop as a player.
Gyeongbuk High School, which could not use Jeon Mi-re as a pitcher due to the rest day rule according to the number of pitches, put Lee Seung-heon on the mound for the final round. Kim Se-hoon (shortstop) – Park Gwan-woo (left fielder) – Im Jong-seong (3rd baseman) – Jeon Mir (designated hitter) – Lee Seung-hyeon (catcher) – Kim Woo-hyuk (1st baseman) – Ahn Jung-hwan (right fielder) – Park Hyun-hoo (2nd baseman) – Park Kun-woo ( made up of midfielders).
Gyeongbuk High School got off to a fresh start when Lee Seung-hyun, who was on the starting mound, struck out Kim Woo-sung in a crisis with 2 outs on 1st and 2nd base in the beginning of the 1st inning. At the end of the first inning, Gyeongbuk High School succeeded in overpowering the game. Gyeongbuk High School took the lead with 2 RBIs by Jeon Mi-re as the 4th hitter and a timely hit to take the lead in the 1 out 2nd and 3rd base opportunity created by Kim Se-hoon and Park Kwan-woo’s continuous walks and Lim Jong-seong’s sacrifice bunt.
Even at the end of the 2nd inning, Gyeongbuk High School took the opportunity to go 2nd and 3rd with a hit from the lead batter, a sacrifice bunt, and Park Kun-woo’s double. Leadoff Kim Se-hoon scored an additional goal by throwing a sacrifice ball to left field. 안전놀이터 Even at the end of the 4th inning, Gyeongbuk High School was lucky. At the end of the 4th inning, Gyeongbuk High School scored a fly ball hit by Kim Se-hoon in the left field due to an error by the opposing defender in the situation with 2nd out and 2nd base.
On the mound, starting pitcher Lee Seung-heon’s ability to manage crises shone. Lee Seung-heon prevented the lead hitter’s double in the top of the 5th inning and the shortstop’s throwing error in the top of the 6th inning, allowing 1 out to 1st and 3rd base, all with zero runs. In particular, in the crisis at the beginning of the 6th inning, the scene where he struck out opponent batters in a row and achieved a quality start was the highlight.
Lee Seung-heon got on the mound in the beginning of the 7th inning as well, striking out Kim Ki-hwan and catching Kim Woo-sung with a ground ball from 3rd base in a 1 out 1st and 3rd base crisis to prevent another run. Lee Seung-heon laid the foundation for the team’s victory with 7 innings, 104 pitches, 7 hits, 3 walks, no runs, quality start, and perfect pitches.
Gyeongbuk High School recorded its first run in the top of the 8th inning when the changed left-hander, Park Gwan-woo, allowed a walk with the bases loaded with two outs. However, Park Kwan-woo struck out the follow-up hitter Kang Do-gyeong and caught Ko Seung-hyeon with a floating ball in center field to prevent additional runs, thus preserving the lead.
At Gyeongbuk High School, Jeon Mi-re won the tournament’s best player award and the Distinguished Service Award, and Lee Seung-heon won the outstanding pitcher award. Jeon Mi-re played an outstanding role in this Blue Dragon Tournament as a batter with 4 hits, 4 RBIs and 3 runs, and as a pitcher in 2 games, 11.2 innings, 2 wins, 13 strikeouts and an average ERA of 0.
Mir Jeon met with reporters after the game and said, “Today, as a pitcher, my body was itching because I couldn’t throw the ball (laughs). He slightly sprained his wrist while sliding at the plate, but rather it led to a good timely hit as he relaxed and hit. He was more motivated because he was not judged for his winning ability before the tournament. I am happy to be able to feel the last moment of victory with his friends,” he said with a smile.
Jeon Mir is steadily continuing his two-battering career. Regarding this, coach Lee Jun-ho of Gyeongbuk High School said, “Honestly, there are many things to improve as a hitter. If he goes pro, it would be realistically better for him to focus only on pitching,” he said.
However, Jeon Mir has no intention of giving up his double career as a pitcher right away. Jeon Mir’s mindset is that even if he goes to the professional stage, he will first challenge himself with a double job as a pitcher.
Jeon Mir said, “Of course, he has to play the role of directing on the bench, but personally, he wants to continue playing and hitting even if he goes to the professional stage. He’s always open-minded and wants to play at every position. What he is personally interested in is hitting. But isn’t everything going well just because he’s having fun? He seems to have performed better as a pitcher in this tournament,” he nodded.
Mir Jeon’s role model is, of course, Shohei Otani (LA Angels), the pinnacle of the ‘double sword style’. Mir Jeon explained his strengths as a pitcher and hitter.
Jeon Mir said, “As a pitcher, my strength is the bold mental part that goes straight into the game without shrinking. He is also confident in his ability to throw the ball for a long time. His strength as a hitter is that he can make strong batted balls and has a decent main power rather than thinking. He also played the catcher position as a fielder, but he is most confident in the defense of the third baseman.”
Jeon Mi-re is a resource that is considered a strong candidate for the first round in the upcoming rookie nomination. In particular, as Gyeongbuk High School is located in the Daegu region, there is an atmosphere of interest in whether Samsung, a club related to the region, will nominate Jeon Mir. Samsung holds the 4th overall nomination in the first round of the 2024 rookie nomination. The love that Samsung fans are pouring out towards Jeon Mir early on is unusual.
Jeon Mir said, “Because he was born and raised in Daegu, he has always liked Samsung Lions. He is also more so because he grew up watching Samsung Lions baseball. Of course, my current position is a student athlete, so I try not to think about naming a rookie right away. I’ll start with pro thinking in a pro uniform. I will focus only on what I have to do every day from where I am now.”