July 18 (UPI) -- Two high school baseball players received an honorary ESPN ESPY award for sportsmanship during the playoffs, which was amplified with a viral video.
Ty Koehn and Jack Kocon received the award Wednesday while appearing on Good Morning America.
Koehn was on the mound in June, pitching for the Mounds View Mustangs against Totino-Grace in the Minnesota high school baseball playoffs. Kocon was at bat for Totino-Grace and struck out to end the game. Koehn's teammates went wild for their celebration, but instead of embracing his teammates, Koehn ran to Kocon for a hug.
The longtime friends met when they were 8-years-old and played together as teammates until high school.
"It was really just instinct," Koehn said on Good Morning America. "I knew I had to win the game first for my team. I think I owed them that match, to bring them to state. So that was really my focus. But after the pitch, after it was all said and done, it was kind of instinct to go over there and be there for a friend when he was at his worst and I just had to go there and kind of console him. I felt like it was the right to do."
"I was really surprised. At first I didn't realize it was Ty. I had my head down and thought it was one of my teammates," Kocon said. "When I looked up and I saw it was him that just meant the world to me. I said it before but in 20 years I won't remember the score of the game but I'll remember what Ty did for me."
Koehn said he told Kocon that the loss wasn't his fault and that their friendship was more important than the game.
Mounds View won the game 4-0 to win the Section 5AAAA Championship. The Mustangs lost to Stillwater in the AAAA quarterfinals. Koehn had four strikeouts and allowed three hits in the shoutout victory against Kocon's team.