Kazuma Okamoto homered and drove in five runs to power Japan into the World Baseball Classic semifinals with a 9-3 victory against Italy on Thursday in Tokyo.
Shohei Ohtani (2-0) struck out five batters and allowed two runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings to earn the victory. He also singled to spark a four-run third inning and scored two runs.
Two-time WBC champion Japan reached the semifinals for the fifth straight tournament. Japan heads to Miami and will meet the winner of Friday’s Puerto Rico-Mexico quarterfinal on Monday.
Okamoto finished 2-for-2 with a double, homer and two walks. Masataka Yoshida homered and drove in two runs, and Munetaka Murakami was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs.
Dominic Fletcher was 3-for-4 and drove in all three runs for Italy, including a solo homer against Yu Darvish in the eighth inning. Joe LaSorsa (0-1) gave up four runs on two hits and two walks.
–Field Level Media