Pitcher embraces batter after game-ending strikeout in Minnesota high school playoffs
(KMSP) - Normally the last thing on a pitcher's mind is the feelings of the batter he just struck out—unless it's your childhood buddy.
That's exactly what happened during last week's matchup against Mounds View and Totino-Grace.
Ty Koehn of Mounds View High School and Jack Kocon of Totino-Grace High School are best friends from little league. They went head to head for the last at-bat of the sectionals final.
Koehn of Mounds View hurled a fast ball for a called strike against Kocon for the last out, punching a ticket for his team to head to the state championship bracket.
But while Koehn's teammates raced to the mound for a team celebration, Koehn headed straight for his friend and embraced him in a heartfelt hug at home plate.
"I told him you are a great player don't let this silly game affect our friendship," said Koehn. "I hope you remember our bond before anything else. before any outcome of the game."
"It was huge because its the end of the season something nobody wants to go through having the last at bat of the season," said Kocon. "To have somebody there - that was huge because I needed someone. He was there."
They say it’s not if you win or lose, but how you play the game. If that's the case, Koehn knocked it out of the park.
“It never hurts to have good sportsmanship and be a good friend to someone who is hurting,” said Koehn.
The sign of sportsmanship is tugging at heartstrings across the country with videos of the emotional embrace being shared across the country.
Mounds View will play Stillwater in the state tournament on Thursday.