NC defeats Davidson with 6th-ranked shooter

The NC Dinos snapped a four-game losing streak to stay in sixth place in baseball.

The NC defeated the Hanwha Eagles 6-2 on July 7 at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, South Korea, behind a back-to-back home run by foreign-born slugger Matt Davidson, his 16th and 17th of the season. With the win, NC moved back to within 1.5 games of seventh-place Hanwha. Hanwha, on the other hand, saw its three-game winning streak come to an end and suffered its first loss under new manager Kim Kyung-moon.

NC needed this win badly. NC has been in a slump, going 1-12 in its last 13 games, and has been on a steep downhill slide. They narrowly snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Lotte Giants on the first day of the season, but lost four games in a row again, dropping to sixth place in the standings. While NC, who were once in contention for the top spot, have been slipping away from the top five, the teams at the bottom of the standings have been surging. The gap between them and Hanwha was only 0.5 games before the game. If they lost, they would have to swap places with Hanwha and drop another spot to seventh.

It was Davidson’s bat that saved the day. With NC leading 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning, Davidson led off the inning with a three-seam curveball from Hanwha’s Jang Min-jae in the middle of the plate. The pitch went over the left field wall for his 16th solo home run of the season. It was Davidson’s third home run against his former club this season and gave NC a two-run lead and some breathing room.

Davidson added to her momentum in her next at-bat. With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning and NC holding a 4-2 lead, he lifted a slider from Hanwha left-handed reliever Kim Ki-joong over the left field wall for another two-run homer. It was a two-run arch (No. 17 of the season) that sealed the win. Davidson’s back-to-back home runs were his second of the season, after he hit one against the Suwon KT Wiz on May 8. With it, he joined 사설토토 Choi Jung-jeong (SSG Landers) and Kang Baek-ho (KT) atop the home run race.

NC starter Daniel Castano threw 99 pitches over six innings, holding the Hanwha bats to two runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He improved to 4-3 on the season. At the plate, Park Gun-woo and Kwon Hee-dong each had two hits and one RBI to help the offense snap the losing streak. “Davidson’s back-to-back home runs were crucial to the victory, and Castano pitched well,” said NC manager Kang In-hwon after the game. “I would like to thank the fans for their unwavering support even in away games.”

“This game was a must-win for the team, and my first priority was to do my part on the field, so I gave it my all,” Davidson said after the game, adding, “It feels good to know that my focus at the plate paid off.” “The team has been going through a tough time lately, and I think the fans feel the same way as we do. If they continue to show their support and faith in the players, we will repay them with a win.”

“I’m happy to have played well,” Castano said. My arm hasn’t been feeling great lately and I’m glad to be able to get it back in good shape and produce good results,” said Castano. ”I knew I had to fulfill my mission, even though the team has been down lately. I threw my best and I’m glad I was able to contribute to the team’s victory.” He continued, “It’s good to break the team’s losing streak. We have a lot of players with great individual abilities,” he said. ‘If everyone on the team does their part, I think we will be on the rise again.’

Meanwhile, the LG Twins extended their winning streak to three games with an 8-7 victory over KT Suwon. Foreign pitcher Casey Kelly, who was on the verge of being released, pitched six innings of three-run ball to improve to 3-6 on the season. KT lost its fourth straight game as its bullpen collapsed.

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