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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout to win World Baseball Classic

Shohei Ohtani celebrates

Japan remains the king of the World Baseball Classic, and they knocked off Team USA on Tuesday to win their latest WBC.

Japan beat the U.S. 3-2 in an exciting championship game on Tuesday night at loanDepot Park in Miami. Japan got out to a 3-1 lead, which narrowed to 3-2 after Yu Darvish allowed a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber in the 8th. In the 9th, Japan went to Shohei Ohtani to close out the game.

After allowing a leadoff walk to Jeff McNeil, Ohtani got Mookie Betts to ground into a double play. That brought up Mike Trout for a dream matchup between the two Angels teammates with the WBC on the line.

Trout swung and missed at two 100-mph fastballs but laid off some sliders out of the zone to work a full count. Then Ohtani threw a 3-2 slider that moved to the outside of the plate and struck out Trout swinging for the win.

The way the game ended further solidified Ohtani as the best baseball player on the planet.

Not only did Ohtani close out the game for the save, but he also went 1-for-3 with a walk as a batter. The two-way star batted .435 with a .606 on-base percentage and .739 slugging percentage in the event.

Japan went 8-0 in the event, becoming just the second team in the WBC to go undefeated (2013 Dominican Republic was the other).

This is Japan’s third time winning the World Baseball Classic, which is two more than any other country.

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