With the epic showcase by Shohei Ohtani, Japan delivered a fairy tale 3-2 victory over the US and won World Baseball Classic for a record third time.
Shohei Ohtani pitched against Angel’s colleague Mike Trout in the final at-bat, pitting two of the game’s greats against each other. Ohtani was able to get Trout to strike out swinging after Trout loaded the count. Securing Japan’s third World Baseball Classic championship.
After going 1-for-3 with a walk at the plate, Samurai Japan’s two-way star Ohtani Shohei came in as the game’s final pitcher. Striking out club colleague and USA captain Mike Trout.
That was enough to earn Japan a 3-2 victory in the championship game on Tuesday night (March 21) at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. Clinching Samurai Japan’s first title since going back-to-back in 2006 and 2009. Japan also completed the competition unbeaten, winning all seven of its games to achieve only the second unbeaten run in WBC history, following the Dominican Republic in 2013.
When the Samurai Strike hit America
The Americans struck first, scoring in the top of the second inning on a solo home run by Trea Turner. They hit his fifth home run of the competition and fourth in three games.
But Japan responded quickly, with Murakami Munetaka unleashing his own solo shot after Lars Nootbaar drove in a second run on a groundout.
Samurai Japan padded its lead in the fourth inning through a home run from Okamoto Kazuma. And the teams traded scoreless innings until Kyle Schwarber cut the deficit in the top of the eighth inning against Japan’s Darvish Yu, a starter who came in to pitch in relief.
With no score in the bottom of the 8th, Ohtani entered to close the game in the top of the 9th to face Jeff McNeil, Mookie Betts, and Trout.
Ohtani walked McNeil on six pitches, but induced Betts to ground into a double play to wipe out the pinch runner Bobby Witt Jr.