The crowd watching the Little League World Series Southwest Region tournament in Waco, Texas, stood aghast on Tuesday after Pearland pitcher Kaiden Shelton hit Tulsa's Isaiah Jarvis with an errant curveball in the first inning. Jarvis' helmet flew off as the batter fell to the ground.
As Jarvis was tended to, the pitcher for the Texas East team exhibited visible signs of grief.
Though scared initially, Team Oklahoma's Jarvis took some Tylenol and determined that he was fine. However, upon resuming his footing and touching first base, he noticed Shelton's distress on the mound.
"He had his glove kind of on his face and I could tell that he was pretty emotional," Jarvis told KOTV. "He was scared for me and was crying. So as soon as I saw that, I tossed my helmet to the side and I walked over there and I told him it was okay."
Sean Kouplen, head coach for Oklahoma, was impressed by the boys' ability to "put people ahead of the game." He noted that it was "one of those moments where you're just sitting there going, 'Man, this is much, much bigger than baseball.'"
Kouplen told Tulsa World, "I'll be honest, I was crying like a baby. ... It was one of the greatest things I've ever seen."
Tulsa Mayor George Bynum similarly lauded the young man's behavior, stating that he was "so proud of the way these players are representing our city and our state!"
After tying the game 4-4 in the second inning, Pearland scored three more in the third and took the game with an additional two in the fourth, making the final score 9-4.