The whole act seemed too well-rehearsed to be spontaneous.
Tyler Massey had no sooner touched first base after his ninth-inning single drove home the game-winner in Modesto's 4-3 victory over Visalia that he found himself being chased.
He stopped running just in time to be greeted by seven teammates, two of whom were carrying a bucket of ice water soon to be dumped on Massey's head to celebrate the Nuts' first walk-off victory of the season.
The Nuts have enjoyed many walk-off victories over the years, but none that triggered a wet tribute usually reserved for the football field.
Why this time? It's an Asheville thing.
"We did that in Asheville last year, and that became a tradition there because we were able to win so many times like this last year," Massey said. "It's a fun thing and maybe this will kick-start something here for us and get our bats going."
The Nuts, after coughing up a 3-2 lead when the Rawhide scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth, got things going in the bottom of the inning when Harold Riggins rolled a leadoff single through the right side.
One out later, Niko Gallego's single to right-center moved Riggins to second, from where he scored when Massey flared his hit to left off Blake Cooper (0-1.)
Before Massey's game-winner, the Nuts had struck out another 14 times against Visalia pitching, boosting their California League-leading total to 141 in 13 games.
But despite the team's inability thus far to string together quality at-bats, there remains a steadfast confidence on the club. And the origin of that confidence is within the group of players who claimed a South Atlantic league title last year before their promotion to High-A Modesto.
"Having gone through this last year in Asheville, I know these guys expect to win and that's a nice thing to have," said Nuts' manager Lenn Sakata. "Most winning teams have that expectation. We got enough hits at the right time to pull this out."
The Nuts appeared to have the game in control, taking a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning.
Modesto starter Ben Alsup worked out of trouble early, allowing two runners to reach base in each of the first three innings but allowing only one run.
He went on to work into the sixth, long enough for Modesto to rally to take a 2-1 lead.
Massey opened the fourth with a triple against Rawhide starter Keith Hessler, who had retired the first nine batters he faced. Massey scored on Tim Smalling's ground ball.
Modesto took the lead in the fifth when Harold Riggins walked, took second on a wild pitch, third on Will Swanner's single and scored on Niko Gallego's sacrifice fly.
Will Swanner's solo homer to left his first of the season off Visalia reliever Conrad Flynn gave the Nuts a 3-1 lead, but the Rawhide would rally for single runs in the eighth and ninth to forge a tie.
Yazy Arbelo, who homered in Monday's series opener, had an RBI single for the Rawhide in the eighth, then Visalia played little ball against Nuts' closer Scott Oberg to tie the game in the ninth.
Oberg (1-1) walked the leadoff hitter, and the rally was on when he threw wildly to first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt to put runners at the corners with no outs.
Evan Marzilli drove in the tying run with a bunt single and the Rawhide would go on to lead the bases with one out before Oberg got out of trouble on a foul pop and a weak grounder to first base.
Meanwhile, in the Nuts' dugout, the team already was talking about the possibility of the first ice water shower of the season quite heady chatter for a team whose offense has yet to arrive with the baggage from spring training.
"Sam Mende said in the dugout that it's going to be a cold one for whoever gets the game-winning hit," said Massey, who heard the comment moments before wearing the ice. "We like to win and we come out expecting to win. So we claw for nine innings, and if somebody gives us an opportunity to grab a win we're going to take advantage of that.
"A lot of good things happened tonight, and for us to get a win out of it maybe it will start some positive momentum."
Brian VanderBeek can be reached at (209) 578-2150 or follow him on Twitter, @modestobeek
David Kandilas, the Nuts' outfielder from Australia, talks about playing in the World Baseball Classic and countryman Adam Scott winning The Masters in Brian VanderBeek's blog at modbee.com/blogs