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Nexen’s Choice hits first KBO homer, but Lotte wins 5-4 in 10

Nexen Heroes right fielder Michael Choice hit a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning of Nexen’s Saturday game against the Lotte Giants, but Nexen ultimately fell in extra innings, 5-4. The home run was Choice’s first since joining the Korean Baseball Organization in late July.

In addition to his home run, Choice singled twice to go 3-for-5, his second multi-hit game in the KBO. Including the results of Sunday’s game, Choice has appeared in 8 games for Nexen, and is currently batting .212 / .270 / .364.
Nexen outfielder Michael Choice, in a picture taken shortly after his arrival in Korea on July 25, 2017. (Yonhap)
Nexen outfielder Michael Choice, in a picture taken shortly after his arrival in Korea on July 25, 2017. (Yonhap)
The game was a close affair from the onset. Nexen struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on designated hitter Lee Taek-keun’s solo home run. But Lotte answered in the bottom of the inning, Andy Burns drawing a bases-loaded walk to bring home the tying run, and then scored again in the second to take the lead 2-1.

Lotte struck again in the fifth on Choi Jun-seok’s solo home run, extending their lead to 3-1 and setting the stage for the late game drama to come.

After their first inning run Nexen was quiet until the eighth, when Kim Ha-seong singled and Choice hit Lotte reliever Lee Jung-min’s 1-and-2 offering 410 feet to dead center for his first home run, tying the game. But neither team could score in the ninth, sending the game to extras.

Nexen took the lead 4-3 in the top of the tenth on Kim Min-sung’s solo home run, but Lotte’s Son Ah-seop answered in the bottom of the inning with a home run of his own, tying the game again.

Then, following Son’s home run, first baseman Lee Dae-ho hit a two-out double, and the next batter, catcher Kang Min-ho, drove in pinch runner Park Heon-do with a single into left-center, giving Lotte a 5-4 walk-off win.

Lotte swept the weekend series, ending their recent skid, and will go home to play the KT Wiz on Tuesday. Nexen will go to Gwangju for a three game set with the first place Kia Tigers.

By Alex Park / Intern reporter (