The World Baseball Classic featured the perfect ending.
Team Japan and the United States battled it out in the championship game on Tuesday night and produced a thriller.
With Japan leading 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, they turned to Shohei Ohtani to close things out.
With two outs, the only thing standing between Japan and a championship was Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout.
The battle was intense and the count ran full.
Ohtani ultimately won the battle, retiring Trout on a 3-2 slider to clinch the WBC title for Japan.
After the game, Trout vowed to come back stronger in 2026, when the Classic is played again, saying that Ohtani won the first round, but that he’ll be back.
Mike Trout on the Shohei Ohtani matchup:
"He won Round 1.''
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 22, 2023
Both Ohtani and Trout will be prepared for the upcoming showdown in 2026.
For now, they’ll go back to being teammates with the Angels.
But Trout obviously has a bad taste in his mouth after striking out to end the Classic and watching Japan dethrone Team USA at the top.
And so, he’ll be ready for a little revenge in 2026.
Round two is still three years away, but you can bet that Trout is already making preparations to win his next battle with the Ohtani.
Obviously, these two are close friends, but a friendly rivalry may be brewing between the two stars, and they may place bets on who ultimately wins the next battle they have with each other in the WBC.
This year’s tournament was full of fun and excitement, and we can only hope that 2026 is just the same.NEXT: NBA Star Reveals How Big Shohei Ohtani Is In Japan