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Real Sportsmanship: Compassionate High School Pitcher Renews Hope For Humanity

After clinching a championship berth, a high school pitcher didn’t celebrate.  He instead, went over to his friend on the opposing team to show him respect.

In this day and age when athletes are normally pretty aggressive, winning a game can result in unsportsmanlike conduct.   But on a Wednesday night at a Minnesota high school baseball game, the section championship game between top seed Totino-Grace and Mounds View, a pitcher struck out a batter for the win.

After striking out Jack Kocon for the final out to send Mounds View to State, pitcher Ty Koehn made a beeline for the beaten batter and embraced him, all while his teammates rushed the field, celebrating wildly. Koehn and Kocon are good friends and have known each other since they played little league together.

If that video doesn’t restore your faith in humanity not much can. “I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there,” Koehn added. “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. It was more instinct, it just felt right,” Koehn added.

The moment was caught on camera by John Hakes, who kindly sent the footage to Bring Me The News and noted that a lot of the Mounds View and Totino-Grace players know each other from the Shoreview Area Youth Baseball league.

Koehn, who is a star player for the Mustangs, showed the compassion and sportsmanship Mounds View coach Mark Downey expected of him. “Ty’s actions the other night do not surprise me and are reflective of what I might expect from any one of the players on the team,” Downey said in an email to BMTN. “All really great kids, just a joy to be around on a daily basis.”

Koehn even walked with the batter, Kocon back toward his teammate before joining his already celebrating team on the field.

Totino-Grace, the top seed, had defeated Mounds View 3-2 in 13 innings in the section semifinals on June 1. Kocon was the hero in the 13-inning, coming through with the walk-off RBI single that gave Totino-Grace their win over Mounds View in the semifinals.  Both young men will be great ball payers and excellent human beings in the years to come.

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