Japan’s Ohtani strikes out Trout to seal World Baseball Classic win

Japan's Ohtani strikes out Trout to seal World Baseball Classic win

Shohei Ohtani struck out Mike Trout in Tuesday’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) championship game at Miami’s LoanDepot Park, securing Japan’s 3-2 triumph against the United States. Baseball is the national game of the United States, but Japan’s victory against the reigning WBC winners means they have won three of the five worldwide exhibitions. They were undefeated throughout the whole competition.

Ohtani, the Japanese hitting and pitching phenom, squared up against Trout, his Los Angeles Angels teammate and U.S. captain, in a battle that will surely go down in baseball legend. Holding their respective national flags, the two men led their respective teams onto the field and then, at the finale, stood opposite one other with everything on the line in a moment of pure athletic brilliance.

With a 3-2 advantage in the ninth inning, Japan went to their star pitcher Ohtani. He walked the first player he saw, Jeff McNeil, but then induced Mookie Betts to hit into a double play, bringing up Mike Trout with two outs and a standing-room-only crowd. Ohtani, throwing 100 mph fastballs, struck out his Angels teammate on six pitches, causing the Japan squad to stream out of the dugout in excitement.

Hideki Kuriyama, the manager of Japan, said that the victory might have a significant influence on the sport’s popularity in Japan, while Mark DeRosa, the manager of the United States, stated that it was a fairytale ending for baseball.

Ohtani was voted the WBC’s Most Valuable Player after compiling the greatest tournament statistics. U.S. shortstop Trea Turner ignited the game with a single home run in the second inning, sending Shota Imanaga into the left field bleachers for his fifth home run of the WBC to give the United States a 1-0 lead.

Munetaka Murakami responded immediately in the bottom of the inning by launching a home drive to deep centre off Merrill Kelly. Okamoto increased Japan’s advantage with a home run to start the bottom of the fourth inning.

In the sixth inning, Japan had a golden chance to put the game out of reach when Jason Adams walked three batters to load the bases. But, Nootbaar’s weak fly to right field ended the danger. In the eighth inning, with the United States out of innings, Kyle Schwarber hit a monstrous home run off Yu Darvish, sending the ball into the upper deck to cut Japan’s advantage to 3-2.

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