Japan defeats U.S. in entertaining World Baseball Classic


Photo via. Wikimedia Commons

Japan defeated the United States in the final game of the World Baseball Classic.

Adam Degenhardt, Sports Editor

Japan beat the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night, 3-2. 

Japan is an overall powerhouse, with pitching being their best asset. They were led by Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani. 

The tournament consisted of teams such as Puerto Rico, Panama, Italy, Czech Republic, and the Dominican Republic. 

A lot of top MLB players competed for different countries throughout the games, such as Mike Trout (USA), Randy Arozarena (Mexico), and Freddie Freeman (Canada). Some Pittsburgh Pirates competed in the tournament as well. Pitcher David Bednar threw for the United States. Pitchers Luis Otriz and Roansy Contreras both made appearances for the Dominican Republic. 

The WBC had clear favorites heading into the tournament, but the most fun games to watch featured the teams that were never expected to win games – like the Czech Republic, whose team was made up of teachers and workers throughout their country.

The United States matched up against Venezuela in the first round after finishing pool play 3-1. After being down 7-5 in the eighth inning, shortstop Trea Turner hit a grand slam, giving the U.S. their first win of the playoff rounds, 9-7. 

In the second round, the U.S. blew out Cuba 14-2. While Cuba only had two fewer hits than the U.S, the Americans still dominated them on the basepaths and defensively. 

Going into the championship, the U.S. was thought to have a good chance against a very talented Japan team. They came up just short, as it came down to the last swing of the game. Angels teammates Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani faced off, with Japan and Ohtani coming out on top. 

The WBC is a great way to bring people together and showcase the skills of the best players from each country, also giving some of the younger players an opportunity to one day play in the MLB.