7 innings no-hitter → 3rd team no-hitter’ history in 3G…Lotte’s long-haired fighter, fighting at the edge of the cliff 

Aaron Wilkerson, the new foreign pitcher of the Lotte Giants, became a fighter and saved the team from a crisis. 

Wilkerson started the regular season match against SSG Landers of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 6th and led the team to a 1-0 victory with a perfect throw of 7 innings, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts and no runs.

Wilkerson went down the mound with 95 pitches, but after that, Seung-min Koo and Won-joong Kim finished the remaining two innings without a hit, completing the team record for no-hitters. It is the 3rd joint no-hitter record in the history of KBO 42 years. 

LG Twins recorded it for the first time on October 6, 2014 against Jamsil NC, and SSG Landers recorded it for the second time on April 2, 2022 against Changwon NC. SSG’s record was a record completed in overtime. 

From the first episode, Wilkerson used the main weapon cutter to silence SSG’s firepower. It was SSG with 8 hits on the 4th game and 17 hits on the 5th game, and Lotte was disarmed in front of the SSG lineup at every juncture and suffered consecutive losses. Wilkerson took the mound in the midst of the team’s series sweep loss crisis.

Wilkerson played the game valiantly. From the first inning, the SSG batters were clearly overpowered. He threw a side cutter to left-handed batters and threw a four-seamer to right-handed batters, making them aggressive and threatening. As a result, he performed perfect pitching until the 6th inning. However, the number of pitches was rather high to lead to the ninth regular inning.

By the sixth inning, the number of pitches was 81. And his perfect record was broken when he allowed a walk to lead batter Choo Shin-soo in the 7th inning. A situation where the record was changed to a no-hitter. But Wilkerson didn’t budge even after allowing his first on-base run. He held onto all his emotions and continued pitching with a firm will. 

He walked lead batter Choo Shin-soo and then sacrificed bunt Choi Ji-hoon. He caught Choi Joo-hwan with a floating ball in center field and sent the runner to third base. 2nd out and 3rd base, still in danger of losing runs. However, against Choi Jung, he threw a change-up on 2 balls and 2 strikes, eliminated the swinging strikeout, and came down the mound. However, in the bottom of the 7th inning, the batting line also had to record a no-decision as SSG starter Kirk McCarty could not score a point.

Wilkerson used a variety of pitches, including four-seams (28) with a maximum speed of 148km, 21 cutters, 22 changeups, 14 sliders, and 10 curveballs, blocking the SSG lineup with a no-hitter. 

Wilkerson went down the mound, but Lotte laid the foundation for victory as Yoon Dong-hee pulled out a timely double that exceeded the right fielder’s key in the bottom of the 8th inning with 1 out and 2 base. Completed.

After the game, Wilkerson explained, “I had the idea that points should not be given unconditionally so that the team can win as much as possible. If you do it aggressively, the defensive time will be shortened, so the fatigue of the defenders will be reduced. So I tried to pitch quickly and aggressively.” did.

Of course, I was conscious of the perfect, no-hitter record. He said, “First of all, the goal of pitchers is to stay on the mound for as long as possible. I knew that I was doing perfect.” I tried to forget it quickly. My goal was to finish with 0 points on the screen anyway. I wasn’t nervous.”

After appearing in three KBO games, he became a member of league history. He laughed, saying, “It’s such an honor. When pitchers go out, I don’t come forward with the thought that I have to play a perfect game. That’s why I think it’s an honor to be able to leave my name on the team’s no-hitter record.”안전놀이터

After the game, coach Larry Sutton said, “When Wilkerson was needed by the team, he pitched long innings as a starting pitcher and played a big role. “In fact, there was an individual no-hitter game, and as a manager, I wanted to keep the ball in my hand, but it was my second appearance this week and it was the day I threw almost 100 balls in Korea, so I had to consider the rest of the season as well. He explained that he had no choice but to replace it for practical reasons.

He continued, “After that, Seung-min Koo and Won-joong Kim finished well as bullpen pitchers, leading to victory. In terms of hitting, I would like to commend Yoon Dong-hee, who came out as a pinch hitter and scored the final run with a double. I will do it,” he said, expressing his feeling of victory.

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