After striking out childhood friend, high school pitcher hits a home run in sportsmanship

NBC News / YouTube After Winning High School Baseball Game...
NBC News / YouTube

Teenagers Ty Koehn and his childhood friend Jack Kocon were playing baseball in Minnesota the other day. Ty as the pitcher for Mounds View public school, and Jack was up to bat for the opposing Totino-Grace Catholic high school team. The stakes of the game were pretty high for high school athletics. The winner of the game would play in the finals for the Minnesota state championship. Mounds View was leading, and Kocon represented the final out.

And then this happened.

Ty Koehn pitched and got a called strike three. Jack Kocon seemed stunned; and the crown went wild. By-passing his catcher, Koehn ran up and embraced his childhood friend. The video went viral, picked up everywhere, even found its way onto the nightly news.

Ty told CBS news he wasn’t thinking so much about sports as he was looking out for a friend.

I told him I loved him and he’s my brother and our friendship will always outlast this silly game.

Koehn told Bring Me The News that the two knew each other from when they were teammates on the same little league squad, years before. Koehn’s coach told BMTN that he wasn’t “surprised” by Ty’s actions. Jack Kocon appreciated the support of his friend.

In 20 years I’m not going to remember the score of that game but I will remember him coming up to me after that, and just kinda being there for me when I needed someone.

It’s a feel-good story because we want to see a world in which competition can be handled healthily and not with the kind of “killer instinct” we’ve been told is essential to “win.” We are living in tough times and it’s important to remember that there are good people trying to be their best while remembering to prioritize people over “winning.”

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