A Minnesota high school pitcher has captured the hearts of sporting fans around the world after he chose to console his friend after striking him out instead of celebrating with his team.
Mounds View pitcher Ty Koehn struck out Jack Kocon of Totino-Grace to end the game in the Class 4A, Section 5 baseball final last week.
The win kicked off a celebration near home plate as Mounds View advanced to the state tournament as a result, while Totino-Grace’s run was over.
But before joining his teammates in the celebration, Koehn consoled Kocon at home plate. Video shows Koehn giving his friend a long hug and walking him back toward his dugout before joining the celebration.
Koehn said he never thought the gesture would go viral.
“I never thought a story like this would blow up the way it did,” he said.
“I told him I loved him and that he was my brother and our friendship would always last longer than this silly game and its outcome.”
Kocon said the gesture just proves what’s more important.
“In 20 years, I’m not going to remember of that game but I’ll remember him coming up to me and being there for me.”