If you watched Monday night’s game between Japan and Mexico for the World Baseball Classic semifinals, you know that Japan’s hard-fought victory took every bit of energy, determination, and will power they had.
Mexico struck first with a Luis Urias three-run home run.
In the meantime, Mexico’s pitching bent but didn’t break: Japan had men on base constantly, but couldn’t deliver the big blow.
That blow came in the seventh inning, with a Masataka Yoshida three-run blast that finally tied things up.
Mexico went ahead 5-3 in the eighth, and Japan scored one in the bottom part of that frame to put things at 5-4.
Trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani set the tone with a leadoff double.
Later in the inning, Munetaka Murakami sent a screaming liner to left-center field that bounced off the wall.
Ohtani and a pinch runner both scored, and then pandemonium broke out.
“High emotions, high energy, and an extreme amount of high-fives for a finals-bound Shohei Ohtani,” Cut4 tweeted, with a video of a very excited Ohtani celebrating with his teammates.
High emotions, high energy, and an extreme amount of high-fives for a finals-bound Shohei Ohtani. 🤚 #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/6NZ934Erdg
— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 21, 2023
That was it: Japan won 6-5, walking off a really tough Mexican team.
For those who say that the Japanese lack emotion towards the game, we would recommend watching the last inning and the subsequent celebrations.
They have won the tournament two times, yet still have enough hunger and drive to go for a third.
They will try to get it on Tuesday night in Miami, as they are set to face the United States in the final game.
Shota Imanaga will start for Japan, while Merrill Kelly will do the same for the Americans.NEXT: Shohei Ohtani Comments On His WBC Final Status