The record books will show that Parkway North defeated Kirkwood Tuesday afternoon in a win that clinched a conference championship for the Vikings. While Connor Ladig got credit for the win, the victor for the day may be sportsmanship.
Parkway North had Brian Thal, a student manager enrolled in the school's Special Education program, take the mound. As Head Baseball Coach Fred Friedman told Patch Blogger Helga Taylor:
A couple of weeks ago, our seniors mentioned they wanted Brian to throw out a first pitch for Senior Day, but we wanted him to have a bigger and better experience. With the gracious support of Coach Shaw and Kirkwood, we were able to arrange for him to actually be the starting pitcher of record, and for Brian's safety, Kirkwood agreed not to swing at his pitch.
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Player reaction on Twitter after the game showed that they grasped what was going on in front of them.
"What B.T did today was heart warming. Props to him for throwing that strike," Ladig Tweeted.
"I had chills when Brian threw out the first pitch!," First Baseman Andy Huss wrote. "Couldn't have more respect for BT!"
"BT getting to throw out the first pitch was awesome! Gave me goose bumps watching it. So lucky to be a part of it," added Russell Susuki.