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Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout to clinch 2023 World Baseball Classic for Japan

Ohtani locked down the win for Japan in the final game of the tournament.

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.

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.