Ohtani gets the last laugh: Japan wins World Baseball Classic


Hailey Steidle, Staff writer

Baseball teams from all over the world took the stage again from March 7 – 21 as the World Baseball Classic took ahold of many baseball lovers screens for the first time since COVID-19.
The World Baseball Classic allows for teams from different countries to face off against one another in cities throughout the world.
This year the games were hosted in four different cities throughout the world including, Taichung, Taiwan, Tokyo, Japan, Phoenix, Arizona and Miami, Florida. The quarterfinals took place in both Tokyo and Miami with the sold-out championship round taking place in Miami, Florida.
This year the lineups were stacked as teams with incredible members went head-to-head.
In quarterfinal 1, Cuba beat Australia with a nail biting score of 3 to 4.
Quarterfinal 2 brought less anxiety to onlookers as Japan led the leaderboards with a score of 9 to 3 against Italy. Quarterfinal 3 had the USA playing Venezuela which ended with USA winning the round with a score of 9 to 7.
Finally quarterfinal 4 brought back the close calls when Mexico beat out Puerto Rico with a score of 5 to 4.
After all was said and done the semifinals began leaving many excited with what the final rounds would look like. In semifinal 1 USA faced off against Cuba and won with a score of 14 to 2. In semifinal 2 Mexico was placed against Japan with Japan winning with a score of 6 to 5.
As the championship round between Team USA and Team Japan kicked off in the sold-out stadium of LoanDepot in Miami, fans all across the world tuned in to see which team would come out on top for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Two standout names in the game were Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, who are teammates on the Angels in the regular MLB season.
With the game being left with a nail biting score of 2-2 it was left to Ohtani to bring home the title. As Ohtani stood tall on the mound, his very own teammate Mike Trout could be seen looking directly at him from the batter’s box.
Both individuals seemed to put aside their relationship and focus on winning the trophy for their countries.
After two outs, Ohtani could be seen gearing up to throw the last and final pitch. Ohtani let go of the pitch and sealed Japan’s victory.
For the first time since 2009, Japan won the Baseball World Classic in an anxiety inducing game.
Japan has two other World Baseball Classic titles under their belt from their wins in 2006 and 2009.
As the celebrations ensued Team Japan could be seen by many spectators and fans hoisting their newly won trophy in order to celebrate their third tournament trophy.
Shortly after the tournament ended, Ohtani was named the MVP of Team Japan for posting the best statistics of the entire tournament.
The action of the tournament got fans very excited for the upcoming MLB season, which begins with Opening Day on Thursday, March 30.