Shohei Ohtani struck out 10 over six shutout innings to lead Japan to a 5-0 win over South Korea on Sunday morning in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 tournament.
Ohtani, a 21-year-old right-hander, is one of Japan's top pitchers. He was 15-5 with a 2.24 ERA in 22 starts this season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and also is regarded as a talented hitter.
Ohtani allowed two hits and walked two, while Takahiro Norimoto tossed two innings of scoreless relief and Yuki Matsui added another.
Hayato Sakamoto and Ryosuke Hirata each drove in two runs to lead Japan, while Takeya Nakamura, Sho Nakata and Nobuhiro Matsuda added two hits apiece.
The tournament consists of two six-team groups, and Japan and South Korea share Group B with the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico. The U.S. opens against the Dominican on Tuesday in Taiwan. Group A consists of Cuba, Chinese Taipei, the Netherlands, Canada, Puerto Rico and Italy.
During the opening round, which runs through next Sunday, each team plays the others in its group once apiece. The top four teams from each group then enter a bracket format, beginning with the quarterfinals on Nov. 16. The semifinals will take place Nov. 19-20, and the championship and bronze medal game on Nov. 21, all at the Tokyo Dome.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.