Defending champions USA meet Japan in World Baseball Classic final
The World Baseball Classic final pits the United States against Japan. The American baseball players were far too strong for Cuba in the semi-finals in Miami (14-2), Japan beat Mexico 6-5 in a real thriller. The unofficial World Cup of Baseball finals will take place Tuesday night at the home stadium of the MLB Miami Marlins.
The United States defend their title. They won the previous edition of the WBC in 2017, the only baseball tournament in which Major League professionals also participate. Japan awaits in the final, which won the first two editions of the WBC in 2006 and 2009.
The Japanese are the only team still undefeated in this tournament. In the semi-final against Mexico, however, things weren’t looking good for the Asians after six sets, who were leading 3-0 at the time. Thanks to a two-man Masataka Yoshida home run, Japan tied the game in the seventh inning. Mexico took another lead in the next set (5-4), but Munetaka Murakami beat Japan in the final in the ninth and final set. He pushed the ball high and far, allowing teammates Shohei Ohtani and Ukyo Shuto to reach home plate.
The Dutch kingdom team started the WBC with two wins but then lost twice and got stuck in the group stage. Orange reached the semi-finals in 2013 and 2017.
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