Ohtani strikes out Trout to secure Japan’s 3rd World Baseball Classic title

Ohtani strikes out Trout to secure Japan’s 3rd World Baseball Classic title
via MLB
Bryan Ke
March 22, 2023
Japan took home its third World Baseball Classic title after beating the United States in a thrilling grand final on Tuesday night in Miami.
Shohei Ohtani, 28, closed out the night at the LoanDepot Park as pitcher against his Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout on the plate.
The two-way phenom secured Japan’s one-run lead in the ninth inning, and after striking out Trout, he cemented his country’s victory 3-2.

Team USA’s Trea Turner hit a home run during the top of the second inning, which gave the U.S. team the early lead.
Samurai Japan’s two-time MVP Munetaka Murakami responded with a homer of his own in the bottom of the inning, tying the game 1-1.
Japan took the lead before the second inning closed, followed by another home run from Kazuma Okamoto in the bottom of the fourth inning that put Japan up 3-1.
Team USA came within one of Japan’s winning score in the eighth inning when Kyle Schwarber hit a home run against Samurai Japan pitcher Yu Darvish.
Ohtani’s performance at the WBC earned him the MVP award on Tuesday.
Ohtani reportedly batted .435/.606/.739 with four doubles and a home run and pitched a 1.86 earned run average, with 11 strikeouts in 9.2 innings and one save.
More impressively, Japan won all of its seven games in the tournament, scoring a total of 53 runs in the first six.
The greatest decision I ever made,” St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar, who became the first player to play for Japan by ancestry, said after the game before hugging his Japanese mother, Kumiko, the Associated Press reported. “Nippon daisuki. Arigato. I love Japan. Thank you.”
Japan, or at least its sportsmanship, made headlines a day before the third title win — the country’s latest since their back-to-back win in 2006 and 2009.
A Japanese fan was briefly captured on camera comforting a Mexico baseball fan after Japan’s 6-5 victory against the country on Monday.
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The heartwarming moment, which only lasted for a few seconds, was captured in the background of a shot focused on the Samurai Japan players celebrating their victory.
In the video, a fan proudly carrying a Japanese flag can be briefly seen bowing to a Mexican fan beside them before the pair embrace each other.
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