In 2023, the World Baseball Classic (WBC) returned with 20 teams competing across four pools. The United States entered the tournament as one of the favorites, boasting a roster full of MLB All-Stars and led by manager Joe Girardi.
After breezing through the opening rounds, the Americans faced a tough challenge in the quarterfinals against a talented Venezuelan team. The game was tight early on, with both teams trading runs and playing solid defense.
But in the eighth inning, with the score tied at 3-3, the Americans seized control. With two outs and the bases loaded, shortstop Trea Turner stepped up to the plate and delivered a clutch grand slam to put the USA up 7-3.
The Venezuelan team fought back in the ninth inning, scoring two runs to make it a 7-5 game. But closer Josh Hader shut the door on any further comeback, striking out the final batter to secure the victory for the Americans.
The win propelled the USA into the semifinals, where they would eventually go on to face the Dominican Republic. In the end, it was the Americans who prevailed once again, winning the championship game over Japan and bringing home their second WBC title in tournament history.
Overall, the 2023 WBC was a thrilling event filled with memorable moments and exciting performances. From the USA’s dramatic win over Venezuela to Japan’s impressive run to the championship game, fans were treated to some of the best international baseball action in recent memory.
As the tournament comes to an end and the teams head back to their respective leagues, fans are already looking forward to the next WBC in 2027, which promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.