There was no mercy for Ohtani, the first clash in ML with a rival in high school

Correspondent Kim Woo-jong of Star News | 2023.04.02 16:38

Ohtani (right) rejoices after a timely hit against Fujinami in the third inning against Auckland on the 2nd (Korea time). /AFPBBNews=News1
Fujinami is playing in an away game against the Los Angeles Angels on the 2nd (Korean time). /AFPBBNews=News1

[김우종 스타뉴스 기자] High school rival Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels), Shintaro Fujinami (29, Oakland Athletics). He finally made his big league debut. He could think of his old friendship, but he had no mercy for Ohtani, the ‘superior ML’. A contemptuous declaration ceremony was introduced.

On the 2nd (Korea time), Ohtani started as the No. 3 designated hitter in the 2023 Major League home game against the Oakland Athletics held at the Oakland Coliseum in California, USA.

It was a game that drew attention with the pitching matchup between Ohtani and Fujinami. The two were evaluated as the best prospects to lead the future of Japanese baseball side by side in high school. At the same time, they form a hot competition.

However, after stepping onto the professional stage, the two began to walk separate paths. Fujinami seemed to be making strides, picking up 14 wins, the most for an individual in the 2015 season. However, he hasn’t been able to show any significant performance since then.

Although Fujinami did not develop as expected, Ohtani entered the major leagues in 2018 and wrote a two-time double-double work legend.

Fujinami signed a one-year contract with Auckland through the post system after the 2022 season. Ohtani and Fujimani, who had previously faced each other in an exhibition match on the 1st of last month. And after a month, we meet again.

In the top of the first inning, Ohtani stepped back with a ground ball to first base against Fujinami. Then, in the top of the third, the Angels took a 2-0 lead. Ohtani, who entered the plate with the bases safely loaded, attacked Fujinami’s second fastball and hit the left-field wall directly with a well-timed hit. It was a harsh confessional gift.

In the end, Fujinami was beaten without completing the 3rd chapter. His performance that day was 2⅓ innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts and 8 runs. The Angels took the win after scoring 11 runs in the third inning alone.

Ohtani completed a multi-hit game with a right-handed hit in the top of the 6th inning from 1st and 2nd. His batting average for the season was 0.375 (3 hits in 8 at-bats).

Meanwhile, the Angels picked up their first win of the season with a 13-1 win.

The appearance of Fujinami (left) being grated three times. /AFPBBNews=News1
Shohei Ohtani’s teammates high five in the dugout after scoring in the third inning. /AFPBBNews=News1

[저작권자 @머니투데이, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]