Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run of the World Baseball Classic, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw four dominant innings as Japan trounced Australia 7-1 on Sunday to finish Pool B play with four wins out of four.

Japan will next face Pool A runner-up Italy in Thursday's quarterfinal game at Tokyo Dome. Australia fell to a 2-1 win-loss record and will take on the Czech Republic on Monday for a spot in the last eight.

Shohei Ohtani of Japan hits a three-run home run in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic Pool B game against Australia at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 12, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Cuba won Pool A, which was played in Taichung, Taiwan, based on tiebreaking rules after five teams finished with two wins and two losses. The Netherlands, Panama and Taiwan were eliminated.

Cuba will meet Pool B's runner-up Wednesday at Tokyo Dome.

Ohtani, batting third, gave Japan a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a three-run homer that struck an advertising board above the seats in right-center.

The Los Angeles Angels two-way star also drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth and went on to finish the night 1-for-2 with four RBIs and a pair of walks.

"That was a good home run," Ohtani said. "Hitting a home run at the WBC has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I wanted to hit one soon. It was my first quality at-bat in a while."

"We'll meet strong opponents. I'll try to stay focused and play hard."

Fans celebrate after Shohei Ohtani (R) of Japan hit a three-run home run in the first inning of a World Baseball Classic Pool B game against Australia at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 12, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Australia's starting pitcher Will Sherriff lasted only two-thirds of an inning.

An RBI single by Lars Nootbaar and a run-scoring double from Kensuke Kondo pushed Japan's lead to 5-0 in the second.

Yamamoto struck out eight, walked none and allowed only one hit -- a third-inning single by Robbie Perkins.

The Pacific League MVP the last two seasons threw 60 pitches, 42 of them for strikes.

Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto reacts after ending the second inning against Australia in a World Baseball Classic Pool B game at Tokyo Dome on March 12, 2023. (Kyodo)

"I was relaxed from the start of the game as Ohtani hit a home run in the first inning," Yamamoto said. "I was able to pitch the way I liked because the guys scored additional runs."

Japan's bullpen kept the Aussies off the scoreboard until designated hitter Alex Hall avoided a shutout with a ninth-inning homer off Hiroto Takahashi.

Nootbaar, who has quickly established himself as a fan favorite, said of his RBI single in the second, "In that at-bat, he threw me a changeup that I missed, so I was not going to miss that again. Glad I got the hit."

In Sunday's other Pool B game, South Korea beat the Czech Republic 7-3, leaving both teams with one win and two losses.

South Korea and winless China will also meet Monday, the final day for Pool B.

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