WBC: Japan beats Italy 9-3 to advance to semifinals

NHK -- Mar 17

Japan has advanced to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic tournament with a 9-3 win over Italy.

Samurai Japan had finished the first round in top place in Pool-B undefeated with four wins. Italy was second in Pool-A with two wins and two losses.

Japan's two-way star Ohtani Shohei took the mound as the starter in Thursday's quarterfinal at the Tokyo Dome.

Ohtani racked up five strikeouts in five innings with a combination of breaking pitches and fastballs clocking up to 164 kilometers per hour.

His teammate Okamoto Kazuma hit a three-run homer in the third inning, to take the initiative in the game, 4-0.

Italy got on the board with two runs in the fifth, but Murakami Munetaka hit an RBI double over the center field in the same inning. ...continue reading