“It’s Chinese baseball, but the pros are different.”
Chinese baseball’s lesser-ranked professional teams have swept teams from South Korea’s only independent baseball league, the Gyeonggi Gyeonggi League. The sweep was an embarrassment to Korean baseball.
The independent baseball team has a number of talented players that are comparable to the pros, but it was not enough to defeat the Chinese professional teams that have recently surged in quality.
The five teams in the Gyeonggi Baseball League were swept in a series of friendly games against the Jiangsu Guma Baseball Team (Jiangsu Hughes Halls) of the Chinese National Baseball League (CNBL) over the past month. An all-star team from an independent baseball team also lost to the Jiangsu Guma by a large margin, demonstrating the frightening growth of baseball in China.
The Jiangsu Guma, who came to South Korea for training, played six games against five teams from the independent baseball league in four weeks from March 14 to March 7. The team won all six games.
As a result, the Jiangsu Guma won 5 to 4 against the Seongnam MacPies and 6 to 3 and 5 to 3 against the Paju Challengers in two games. They won 8-4 against the Goyang Winners, 15-3 against the Pocheon Monsters, and 6-5 against the Gapyeong Welsh.
The Jiangsu Jerma’s games against the Yeoncheon Miracle and Suwon PineEagles were canceled due to rain. They won all seven of their games against independent baseball teams, including an 8-3 victory against the Independent Baseball Team All-Star Team in their last game.
The Jiangsu Guma was founded in May 2002 and has been in contact with advanced baseball cultures since 2006, recruiting coaches from Korea, Japan, and Taiwanese baseball. From the Korean baseball world, Chung Sam-heum, Kim Hong-jip, and Hyun Jae-yoon were appointed as coaches of the Jiangsu Guma.
As a result of these efforts, the Jiangsu Guma became the CNBL runner-up in 2019. They finished second in the Chinese National Baseball Championship last year and won the title this season, establishing themselves as one of the strongest teams in Chinese professional baseball. The team includes players who played in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), including Cao Jie, Wang Wei, and Zheng Chaoqin.
At the 2023 WBC, China fielded a younger team, mostly in their 20s, and showed a different skill set. Although they didn’t win the WBC, they were able to get a hit off Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and a two-run double off Tae-in Won (Samsung), showing that they can’t hit professional pitchers. The pitchers’ velocity was over 140 kilometers per hour, and the weakness of self-destructing errors in in-play situations disappeared, and they were in a close game with the winner, Japan, until the middle of the game 꽁머니사이트.
“We came to South Korea because we wanted to play against a high-level team,” said Jiangsu Mazenxin after the game against the independent baseball teams. It’s a statement that could be interpreted as a lot of things, including confidence.
An official from the Gyeonggi-do Sports Promotion Division said, “The independent baseball team Gyeonggi-do organized an exchange game with a Chinese professional team to improve the skills of the players in the Gyeonggi-do league.” “The Jiangsu Guma were strong because they were the winners of the Chinese National Baseball Championship and had young players with an average age of 23. I think that’s why we won the game.”
Gyeonggi-do held a farewell ceremony for the Jiangsu Guma at the Team Up Campus in Gwangju, the stadium for the Gyeonggi-do Independent Baseball League. Vice Governor Yeom Tae-young, Gwangju Mayor Bang Se-hwan, Jiangsu Guma head coach Ma Zhenxin, and coach Chen Biao attended the ceremony.
At the event, Vice Governor Yeom Tae-young said, “I hope that there will be more opportunities for Gyeonggi-do and China to become closer through sports by promoting exchange matches between China and Gyeonggi-do.” He added, “I look forward to good results at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September.”
The Gyeonggi Independent Baseball League is an amateur league for players who do not make it to the KBO. It is the only de facto independent baseball league in South Korea. Now in its fifth year, the Gyeonggi League kicked off its 2023 season in March. The league plays a total of 147 regular season games, 42 games per team, every Tuesday and Friday.