Japan beat the United States 3-2 to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Miami Tuesday.
Japan’s Shohei Ohtani, a star hitter and pitcher in U.S. Major League Baseball, sealed the win for his home country when he took the pitcher’s mound at the top of the ninth inning. He walked Jeff McNeil to start the inning, then got Mookie Betts to hit into a double play before striking out Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout to give Japan its third WBC title since the event began in 2006. Japan won the first WBC and again in 2009.
Ohtani was named the tournament’s most valuable player, hitting .435 with one homer, four doubles, eight runs batted-in and 10 walks to lead Japan to a 7-0 record during the WBC.
Trea Turner homered in the second inning and teammate Kyle Schwarber hit a home run in the eighth to score the only runs for the United States, which won the last WBC in 2017. Munetaka Murakami and Kazuma Okamoto homered for Japan, while Lars Noobaar, an American-born member of the St. Louis Cardinals whose mother is Japanese, drove home a run in the second inning.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.