Two-way baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani was named MVP of the 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC) for his contributions leading to Japan's 3-2 win over the United States in the championship final in Florida on March 21 local time.
Ohtani closed out the final at loanDepot park in Miami, striking out Team USA's Mike Trout to secure Japan's victory. It was Samurai Japan's third WBC gold medal performance, following their previous championship win in 2009.
Ohtani appeared in all seven of Japan's WBC games. As a pitcher, he started on the mound in Japan's first-round game against China, as well as in its quarterfinal against Italy, before coming on in the ninth inning of the final against Team USA. He also appeared as the No. 3 batter in all of Japan's games, and achieved hits in every game.
(Japanese original by Tadashi Murakami, Tokyo Sports News Department)