URGENT: Baseball: Ohtani, Okamoto lead Japan past Italy to WBC semis

Shohei Ohtani and Kazuma Okamoto led two-time champion Japan to the World Baseball Classic semifinals for the fifth straight tourney in a 9-3 quarterfinal win over Italy on Thursday.

Before a packed house at Tokyo Dome, Ohtani allowed two runs over 4-2/3 innings and helped ignite a four-run third inning with a bunt single as Samurai Japan earned a trip to Miami and a semifinal against either Mexico or Puerto Rico on Monday.

© Kyodo News