MIAMI (AP) When Shohei Ohtani reached second base after hitting a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth inning, he immediately looked up at the crowd and waved his arms, in a rare sign of emotion, as if he knew what was coming next.
Ohtani's clutch hit sparked a late rally, and moments later Munetaka Murakami delivered a walk-off, two-run double to lift Japan over Mexico 6-5 Monday night and into the World Baseball Classic final.
Two-time champion Japan will face the defending champion United States in Tuesday night's title game. Shota Imanaga will start for Japan - Yu Darvish had been set to pitch before a change was announced postgame. Merrill Kelly is likely to start for Team USA, which has won the WBC once.