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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Japan Conquers USA in World Baseball Classic Championship 3-2

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The final game of the World Baseball Classic was full of clichés. Teammates in Major League Baseball were on opposing sides in the WBC. A world championship hung in the balance. Wire to wire. The Loan Depot stadium in Miami was packed. One team emerged victorious in the final inning by striking out his legendary teammate.

The fan favorite, All-star and 2022 MLB MVP Runner-up, Shohei Ohtani took the mound in the final inning of the game for the first time. In the batter’s box opposite Ohtani stood 10-time All-star and 3-time MVP Mike Trout. Ohtani and Trout are teammates for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

However, they not teammates that night.

Before Ohtani delivered the final blow to Mike Trout, the exhilarating pitcher had to go through another great: 2-time All-star and current National League Batting Champion Jeff McNeil. Ohtani delivered a 101 mph sinker to McNeil, earning himself a strike.

Unfortunately, Ohtani walked McNeil.

Following Mcneil’s at-bat was another fan favorite: 2-time World Series Champion and 6-time Gold Glove winner Mookie Betts. Ohtani yielded a double play off of Betts. This left Team USA with one remaining chance to tie or win the World Baseball Classic.

Up next was the Millville Meteor himself: Mike Trout.

The duel began with Trout feeling out Ohtani by accepting a strike. A few pitches later, Trout stood at a full count. These are the moments where legends are birthed. Ohtani, knowing his Los Angeles Angels teammate’s tendencies, got Trout to swing and miss.
And just like that: Ohtani etched Japan into the history books of the World Baseball Classic. Team Japan edged out Team USA 3-2.

Japan, who finished the tournament without a loss, became the first undefeated team to win the championship since the 2013 Dominican Republic team.

The win prevented team USA from winning back-to-back World Baseball Classic titles.

Contact multimedia staff writer Noral Parham at 317-762-7846 or email NoralP@IndyRecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.

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