WACO, Texas — A Little League batter rose from a beaning to console the upset pitcher, who also happened to be his friend, in a dramatic scene at a Little League regional tournament game Tuesday in Waco, Texas.
The incident happened during a Little League Southwest Regional Playoff final.
Righthander Kaiden Shelton (who goes by 'Bubs') of Pearland, Texas, was facing batter Isaiah Jarvis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tuesday when an 0-2 pitch got away from him and slammed into Jarvis' helmet. Jarvis fell to the ground clutching his head as his concerned coaches ran to his aid.
After a few moments, Jarvis' head cleared enough for him to walk unaided to first base. Meantime, Shelton stood on the mound staring at the ground in tears over what happened.
After a moment, Jarvis walked to the mound and put his arms around Shelton, telling him, “Hey, you're doing great. Let's go.” Shelton's teammates and coach gathered around the pair to join in consoling the young righty.
The gesture drew a standing ovation. Pearland went on to beat Tulsa 9-4 and advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, starting next week.
KHOU 11 reporter Xavier Walton caught up with Bubs when he got back to Pearland after the game. He asked what was going through his head after he realized he hit Jarvis.
As it turns out, the two had become friends long before the game even started.
"Like, two days ago, I walked into their room because the door was open and I picked up a brownie and threw it at the wall. We just became friends after that," Bubs said. "And now I'm friends with the whole team."
Bubs said he was happy that his new friend wasn't badly hurt but upset at himself for hitting a batter.
"I could hardly breathe, honestly, at that point. And he came over and he hugged me and he told me I got this and he was, like, 'Take deep breaths and just think happy thoughts,'" Kaiden Shelton said. "It made me feel happy, and at the same time sad because I hit him."
Bubs said he talked to Jarvis after the game and his friend/foe told him to go win it all. It's safe to say the Oklahoma team will be rooting on Pearland in the LLWS.
And as far as the hug...
"It really meant a lot," said Kaiden. "If it was anybody else, it would have gone a whole different way. But that kid -- he was something different."