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Japan Beats Team USA to Win 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship

Team USA entered the World Baseball Classic championship as the clear front-runner, but even they couldn’t stand their ground to Team Japan. Shohei Ohtani led his team to their third win at this tournament, earning himself the MVP title along the way. Japan defeated Team USA 3-2, and none of that would be possible without Ohtani’s outstanding two-way performance. Baseball fans couldn’t wait to see him come head-to-head with his Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout, and their face-off lived up to the hype. Ohtani was fully aware they were entering the match as underdogs and delivered a fiery speech to his teammates that went viral on social media. "Let's stop admiring the. If you admire them, you can't surpass them. We came here to surpass them, to reach the top. For one day, let's throw away our admiration for them and just think about winning," said Ohtani in his speech. Ohtani’s performance during the tournament was quite impressive, and he led Japan's lineup by hitting .435/.606/.739 with a homer, eight RBIs, 10 walks, four doubles, and nine runs. He ended up winning the tournament's MVP award, joining Daisuke Matsuzaka as the second Japanese player to do so. Matsuzaka led Japan to their previous two World Baseball Classic championship wins in 2006 and 2009.