“I feel confident playing against any team now”
At the end of the final, some of the Mulmulgos stood back and shed a few tears of disappointment, but soon there were shouts of “Well done! We did so well!” was heard, and they all found strength in that sound, hugged each other and patted each other on the shoulder, ending their hot Cheongryonggi journey. Gong Min-seo, a third-year student who led the team to the miraculous final as captain, said, “We lost the final, but we are not losers. All that’s left is to become a strong team from now on.” “I think July 2023 will be remembered as the hottest summer of my life,” he said.
Despite not being able to climb the final step, the students from Yangsan High School in Gyeongnam have no regrets. Before the tournament, no baseball player expected Mulgeum-go to make it to the final. Although they won the weekend league regional championship in the first half of the tournament, to high school baseball experts, Mulgeumgo was just an underdog, a group of players who didn’t make it to the prestigious baseball schools in Busan or Gyeongnam. However, they overcame a 10-point deficit against regional powerhouse Masang-go in the round of 16, and defeated even the favorite Chungam-go in the quarterfinals to reach the final stage. The eight-year-old team, which started its baseball team in 2015, overcame 43 years of tradition (Masango) and 53 years of history (Chungam-go).
Mulmungo was created to allow local baseball talent to play in their hometown. However, it did not catch the aspirations of those who still preferred to go to prestigious schools. Instead of abstract instructions like “spin the bat faster,” “pull your hips out,” and “lower your waist,” Mulguni has been teaching the remaining players the basics, explaining in detail and specificity how far out your elbows should go and how low your stance should be. The round of 16 at nationals was their best performance to date, but this was a great demonstration of their potential and promise. 꽁머니지급
Players and coaches alike cite the team’s cohesiveness as one of its greatest strengths. With the exception of a few players whose homes are close to the school, the team lives in three apartments, with about 20 players divided by grade level. “We live together as a family, so our teamwork is unique,” said third-year pitcher Bae Kang-hyun, “and now we are confident in playing against any team.” Coach Kang Seung-young also said, “Living together has made the team more like a family.”