Ohtani Practices with Samurai Japan in Nagoya Ahead of WBC

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, left, joins his Samurai Japan teammates on Friday.

NAGOYA — Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels arrived on Friday at Vantelin Dome Nagoya and practiced with Samurai Japan, which will compete in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The 28-year-old two-way star arrived shortly after 3 p.m., ahead of a warmup game against the Chunichi Dragons.

Practice had already begun as Ohtani arrived on the grounds, where he only did some running. However, he appeared to be in good spirits as he waved to the fans.

He did not participate in the game.

When asked whether he will both pitch and hit during the WBC, Ohtani said, “I definitely plan to do that because that’s my style.”

Meanwhile, it was announced Friday that Japan’s national team soccer coach, Hajime Moriyasu, 54, will throw the ceremonial first pitch for Japan’s WBC opener against China at Tokyo Dome on Thursday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch for the game against South Korea on March 10.