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XXIX U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019 - Official Payoff

Hyeong-jun So 'more nervous' at 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup than in KBO postseason debut

Hyeong-jun So 'more nervous' at 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup than in KBO postseason debut
12/11/2020
The 19-year-old budding ace hopes to make the Korean Men’s National Team that will attempt to defend their 2008 Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

SEOUL -- Rising star Hyeong-jun So told reporters on Tuesday that he was more nervous pitching against rival Japan in the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup than he was in Game 1 of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) second-round playoffs.

The 19-year-old right-hander was the Game 1 starting pitching for the KT Wiz against defending KBO champs Doosan Bears. He threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball, but got a no-decision in the Wiz loss.

"I knew a lot of people thought I would struggle on the mound because I didn't have experience, but I was pretty confident in myself," So, quoted by Yonhap news, said. "I was pretty determined out there."

In 2019, he made three appearances in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, pitching 13.2 innings while carrying a meagre 1.32 ERA. So earned the save for the Korean National Team in the bronze medal game against Australia.

So was drafted by the KT Wiz in the first round of the 2020 KBO Draft, and boasted a 13-6 record with a 3.86 ERA this season, solid credentials to win the KBO Rookie of the Year. 

Tokyo 2020?

With Korea having qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (via the 2019 WBSC Premier12), So said he'd love to represent his country and play in the Olympics.

"It'd be great if I can get to the Olympics next year," he said. "I should set it as my goal this winter and start preparing for that."

Korea will enter the Tokyo 2020 Games as the defending Olympic gold medallists, after having claimed gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, the last time baseball was featured at the Olympics.