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DLN ALL-AREA: Rustin pitcher McMahon shook off big league pressure to lead Golden Knights

The spectacle that surrounded every start by West Chester Rustin senior pitcher Chris McMahon this season was a sight to behold.

Virtually every Major League Baseball team had its scouts, birddogs — and in some instances, general managers — watch McMahon’s every move. That is what transpires when you are the best pitcher in Pennsylvania and arguably one of the top high school prospects in the United States.

McMahon did not disappoint the crowds as he went 7-0 with 76 strikeouts in 47 regular season innings. The Golden Knights’ senior had an ERA of 0.58 ERA, allowing just four earned runs in those 47 innings. McMahon also hit a lusty .435 with 19 RBIs and pounded out 27 hits.

But what truly separated the Golden Knights hurler from the pack was his incredible humility, leadership and work ethic, which carried over to the rest of his Rustin teammates, as the team captured the Ches-Mont American Division crown.

It is because of these feats that Chris McMahon is The Daily Local News Player of the Year.

“Chris brought so much more than a cannon for an arm to this team,” West Chester Rustin coach Brad Harkins said. “He was humble, hard working and a tremendous teammate. Obviously he was a leader on the field with his all-around play, but the way he supported and encouraged his teammates was great. Considering the circumstances and the attention he was getting from GMs and scouts, it was impressive how he carried himself and took things in stride. It was never a distraction for Chris and his teammates.

“A lot of that had to do with Chris and how he downplayed the attention he was getting. As far as he was concerned he was just a regular member of the team,” Harkins said. “He is anything but regular, he is special. He is a very well-rounded individual who is competitive, hard working and talented. The sky is the limit for Chris. I am looking forward to his future.”

McMahon was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 33rd round of last month’s MLB draft, with the 980th overall pick. It was likely a bit lower than he expected to hear his name (McMahon was ranked in the top 100 prospects by some grades), but with his sights set on the University of Miami, McMahon knows it’s very likely he’ll hear his name in the draft again in a few years.

McMahon wowed the entire Ches-Mont League all season, but Mondays — his day to pitch — were near-automatic wins for Rustin. After throwing a 1-0 no hitter against Bishop Shanahan, a very good hitting team, Bishop Shanahan coach Brian Boyko talked about his hurler.

“He has that great fastball that he can locate and he makes all his pitches.” Boyko said. “He has a very bright future.”

McMahon obviously couldn’t help but notice the huge crowds around the backstop on his pitching days. But he said it was important to block that all out.

“I mean I don’t really think about them,” McMahon said. “It is nice to see them here but it is all about winning the game for my team. As far as pressure, I really don’t feel any, it is all good.”

During the winter months, McMahon decided to play basketball in his senior season after sitting out his junior campaign. He was a 3-point threat on the court, and according to Rustin basketball coach Keith Cochran, he was much more than that off the floor.

“Chris was the hardest worker on the team,” Cochran said.”He was the first one at practice and the last one to leave. He had a great attitude on and off the floor. I really don’t know where our season would have headed without Chris.”

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