Is there a better act of sportsmanship than forgoing instant celebration to commiserate with your beaten opponent?
That was exactly the scenario in a Minnesota high school baseball section championship game between Mounds View and Totino-Grace.
Mounds View High School pitcher Ty Koehn struck out the final Totino-Grace batter Jack Kocon to secure his team the section championship and book at spot at the Minnesota state titles.
After securing the win, Koehn shrugged aside his excited catcher and embraced Kocon in a bear hug whilst his teammates celebrated wildly in the infield.
The reason for the gesture was more than just sportsmanship though – the two players are good mates from their days playing in the Shoreview Area youth baseball league in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis.
“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.” Koehn told local area news.
“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.”
Despite being the top seeds, Torino-Grace were vanquished by Mounds View 4-0 in the second game of a double-header.
The gesture earned the young pitcher widespread praise and proved that mateship is still a vital part of sport.