Japan won the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday evening, and the championship game wrapped with a perfect baseball moment. Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani struck out American Mike Trout to end the game and secure the 3-2 win for Japan. This marked the third time Japan has won the World Baseball Classic.
Ohtani started the game as Japan’s designated hitter, where he was 1-for-3 with a walk. He then left the game to go to the bullpen and begin preparing to come in as a pitcher. Ohtani entered in the ninth for his first relief appearance since 2016 when he was 22-years old and pitching in the playoffs for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
OHTANI STRIKES OUT TROUT TO WIN THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC FOR JAPAN! pic.twitter.com/n4nTwhOhmk— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) March 22, 2023
The United States was the defending WBC champs. They finished 3-1 in pool play and then beat Venezuela and Cuba in the knockout bracket to reach the Championship. Japan finished third in the last WBC. They went 4-0 in pool play and then beat Italy and Mexico to reach the Championship.
Here’s the strikeout called on Japanese television.