Congratulations to the Mounds View Mustangs! Had to beat Totino twice tonight to advance to state, and did so in two decisive victories... 17-10, 4-0. pic.twitter.com/KNM99De25Y— Dean Bonde (@CoachDBinMN) June 7, 2018
It’s not every day that you see a member of the winning team putting celebration aside just to console his friend on the losing team.
This weekend in Minnesota, several attendees at a local high school baseball game saw just that. And the scene has since gone viral.
After pitcher Ty Koehn from Mounds View High School struck out Totino-Grace High School’s Jack Kocon, one of his close friends, Koehn secured his team’s victory over their rival. But as his teammates celebrated, Koehn knew he had to give his good friend Kocon a warm hug first.
"We are very close friends," Koehn said. "I knew him from all the way back when we were 13. We were on the same little league team. It was tough when we went to separate schools, but we kept in touch."
MUST SEE: A heartrending scene at the Totino Grace-Mounds View game as the pitcher who struck out his childhood friend to send his team to the state championship chose to console the batter before celebrating with his team. (credit: John Hakes) pic.twitter.com/ChlDu5rtH1— WCCO - CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) June 11, 2018
Mounds View now qualifies to go to the state championships.
To Koehn, however, winning wasn't most important. Instead, it was his friendship with Kocon that came first.
"I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there," he told reporters. "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."
“Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game.”— Sang Kim (@5lbtrout) June 11, 2018
I’m a better man today because of an example by a teenager. Ty Koehn is a real life hero
This is the definition of sportsmanship and friendship combined. Such a great moment! https://t.co/cvUlUZW6pZ— Alison Mastrangelo (@AlisonM_TV) June 11, 2018
The epitome of class, friendship, and sportsmanship.— Ron Waxman (@RonWaxman) June 11, 2018
Hope for humanity is alive... https://t.co/i4O8d2eubX— Allen Schatz (@raschatz) June 11, 2018
It’s heartwarming to see young men like these two putting any kind of difference aside in the name of friendship. What's even better is to see that this moment has gained national attention and will, hopefully, inspire others to always put friendship first.