Winning feels good, especially when it means earning a coveted trip to the state baseball championship. But for one high school pitcher in Minnesota, it’s clear that friendship trumps winning. Rather than celebrate on the mound with teammates after striking out the final batter to advance to the Minnesota State Championship, he made a beeline to home plate to console the good friend he had just fanned.
The players in question are Mounds View High School pitcher Ty Koehn and Totino-Grace High batter Jack Kocon. The two have been friends since Little League, played on the same team as 13-year-olds, and have remained close friends despite attending different high schools. After the game, Koehn said that he just wanted to make sure his friend was okay.
“I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there,” Koehn said. “I knew I had to say something. Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knew that before we celebrated.”
— Bring Me The Sports (@BMTNSports) June 8, 2018
The hug was a serious friend move. As Koehn’s team stormed the field after winning Kocon was clearly deflated, listlessly spins his bat with his eyes looking down at home plate. What’s even more spectacular about the whole thing is that Koehn ran to console Kocon even though he just ended his team’s three-year drought in the section championships. He had every reason to drop everything and celebrate, but he took pause, and in an almost counter-intuitive way, that’s more worth celebrating.