McMahon delivers for Asheville faithful

Rockies' No. 5 prospect drives in five runs, including game-winner

All-Star Ryan McMahon leads the South Atlantic League with 65 RBIs and 28 doubles. (Tracy Proffitt/Hickory Crawdads)

By Mark Emery / | July 5, 2014 1:36 AM

When a member of the Asheville Tourists turns in a big performance, he is generally greeted by a cruel surprise during his postgame shower.

"Usually, we pour an ice bucket on somebody who had a pretty good game," third baseman Ryan McMahon said, "but I got in and out of the shower as quickly as possible before they could do that."

There's no denying that he deserved the honor. The Rockies' fifth-ranked prospect went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in Class A Asheville's 7-6 win over Lexington. After the Legends tied the score late, McMahon came through with a walk-off single, making the Fourth of July that much more enjoyable for the fans at McCormick Field.

And the fact that he avoided his celebratory punishment made the evening that much better for him.

"They get you when you least expect it, when you've got shampoo in your hair and your eyes are closed," McMahon said of the team ritual. "Yeah, it's bad."

With the effort, the 2013 second-round pick improved his slash line to .283/.357/.521 over 76 games. He has 28 doubles, two triples and 12 homers while recording 65 RBIs. Nobody in the South Atlantic League has driven in more runs and only teammate Correlle Prime has as many two-baggers.

On Friday, he laced a two-run single to right field in the first inning and scored on Jordan Patterson's sacrifice fly. He brought in two more runs in his next at-bat, lining a double to right in the third.

"I think I had runners in scoring position for four of my five plate appearances tonight, so that obviously helps," the 19-year-old said. "I just kept getting base hits, and guys scored when I got the hits."

Through four innings, Asheville held a 6-2 lead. After McMahon walked in the fifth, Lexington tied the game with four runs in the seventh. He waited to put the Tourists back on top, grounding out to first base with a man on second and two outs in the bottom of the frame.

With one out and the bases loaded in the ninth, McMahon won the game by singling home Emerson Jimenez, who led off the inning with a hit.

"It always feels good when your hard work pays off," the California native said. "I kind of refined my approach at the plate today. I'm just working on keeping my head on the ball and staying through the ball back up the middle. It worked pretty well, obviously, today.

"It's something I've been working towards for a while. Early in the season, I was pulling my head a lot. And I've been working with my coaches a lot. Now I'm just starting to get it, kind of."

Actor Owen Wilson attended the game, but McMahon believes he left early and missed the ninth-inning drama, possibly to avoid signing autographs for and taking pictures with fans. Perhaps that's where the ballplayer got the idea for dodging the unsavory ceremony that awaited him in the shower.

Not that he thinks his fast one on Friday will do him much good on Saturday.

"I've had it a couple times, I've also given it a lot," McMahon said. "I'm expecting at least two or three buckets coming in.

"I think they're definitely going to get me tomorrow. I know. I know that they think that I deserve it. So I'm definitely going to get it tomorrow."

Mark Emery is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Emery. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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