Ohtani closes a thriller as Japan wins the WBC Championship

WBC Championship
Eugene Hoshiko / Associated Press

The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) championship saw some of the world’s best players compete against each other in a thrilling tournament. The tournament was held in several countries, with the final match taking place in front of a packed stadium in Miami, Tuesday.

In the final, the United States faced off against Japan in a highly anticipated matchup. Both teams had been dominant throughout the tournament, and the final promised to be a close and exciting game.

How the game shook out

Team USA took an early lead in the top of the second inning when red-hot shortstop Trea Turner cranked a solo home run to left field. Turner finished the tournament with five home runs and 11 RBIs in seven games.

Team Japan responded quickly as Munetaka Murakami blasts a solo home run of his own to tie the game in the bottom of the second. Japan eventually loaded the bases and scored another on a slow ground out.

Kazuma Okamoto delivers a homer in the bottom of the fourth, extending Japan’s lead to 2 runs. Kyle Schwarber finally answered for Team USA in the eighth inning, but it was too little too late for the Americans. Team Japan finished with strong pitching to win the WBC Championship for the third time.

The game didn’t turn out to be the high-scoring affair that was predicted, as the pitching was the prevalent factor. Japan allowed nine hits, but held the United States to 0-7 with runners in scoring position. Seven Japanese pitchers combined for an impressive effort, with the eventual WBC MVP Shohei Ohtani locking down the ninth inning. That last batter was Angel’s teammate Mike Trout who struck out to end the game.

The WBC Championship proved to be a thriller, as arguably the two best players in the game faced off in the end. Ohtani, the Japanese superstar, got the last laugh.

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