Shohei Ohtani only allowed one hit in four innings in Japan's victory over China ©WBC

Japan's Shohei Ohtani led his nation to a 8-1 victory over China with a two-run-double and four shutout innings at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Japan was playing at home in the Tokyo Dome, which saw 55,000 people in attendance for the Pool B match-up.

Ohtani was able to give his nation a 3-0 lead after claiming a pitch from Weiyi Wang off the wall in the left-centre field to plate both Kensuke Kondoh and Lars Nootbar. 

The Los Angeles Angels star racked up strikeouts with 160 kilometre per hour fastballs, while only allowing one hit in four innings.

China managed to produce a solo home run, which was all they could do as Japan dominated.

Japan added five runs after the score was 3-1, with Maki Shugo securing the final home run that ended the match.

Italy defeated Cuba by scoring the winning runs in extra innings ©WBC
Italy defeated Cuba by scoring the winning runs in extra innings ©WBC

In the other match, Italy were able to defeat Cuba 6-3 after scoring four runs in extra innings at the Taichung Stadium in Taiwan in a Pool A head-to-head.

Italy started off with a 2-0 lead, but Cuba were able to tie the game as Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alfredo Despaigne were able to score to force extra innings.

Dominic Fletcher guided Italy to victory in the top of the 10th, doubling on a sharp line drive to right field and also scoring to give Italy a win in their first match.

Cuba now fall to 0-2 as they prepare to face Panama tomorrow, while China will look to bounce back against the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic are set to face China later today, while Cuba are due to take on Panama.

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