The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run double on the plate and tossed four scoreless innings to help Japan win against China at Thursday’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) opening.
The MLB two-way superstar pulled off a stellar performance, leading Japan to win against China with a final score of 8-1.
Playing on the mound, Ohtani threw four scoreless innings against China, striking out five of the 13 Chinese batters he faced in the process. China’s Yang Jin was the only batter who managed to hit one of Ohtani’s 49 pitches during the fourth inning.
As a hitter, Ohtani hit a pitch from Weiyi Wang off the wall in the left-center field that allowed his fellow teammates Kensuke Kondoh and Lars Nootbaar to score, giving Japan a lead of 3-0 by the fourth inning.
Five other hitters from the Samurai Japan team drove in at least a run, with Nootbaar going 2 for 4 with two walks from the leadoff spot. The Japanese team also scored a home run during the seventh inning, courtesy of Maki Shugo.
After the game, Ohtani praised his team while talking to reporters.
“It was a great game won with a team effort,” Ohtani said. “I want to keep this momentum going.”
Hideki Kuriyama, manager of the Japanese team, believes that Ohtani still performed well despite not being in the best shape for the recent game.
“I’m glad we won because international games are never easy,” Kuriyama said. “His condition is not that good but he kept us in the game.”
Japan is set to face South Korea at the WBC on Friday.