3/6 LeMahieu flexes for game-winner

Another Camp Colvin alum had a big day Sunday. DJ LeMahieu, the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2009, belted a two-run walkoff homer in the 10th to lift the team to a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.

“I was taking [batting practice] today and one of the coaches said, ‘Last year, warning track; this year, maybe you’ll hit the fence,'” LeMahieu said of his conversation with Juan Cabrera. “I was like, ‘I’m going over the fence this year.’ It’s crazy — first at-bat to do that.”

The 22-year-old infielder said it was his first walkoff homer since Little League. He did have a clutch walkoff hit for LSU in the College World Series.

“A homer is way better,” he said.

LeMahieu added 18 pounds this offseason by working out in Mesa at what’s been dubbed “Camp Colvin” in honor of Tyler Colvin. After the 2009 season, Colvin worked out in Mesa and gained 25 pounds, had a great spring in 2010 and won a spot on the Opening Day roster. Cubs strength coach Tim Buss deserves the credit. He designs the program for the players. Obviously, Buss is having a good streak. LeMahieu begins this year with two home runs in 176 Minor League games.

Sunday’s contest was broadcast on WGN TV, and LeMahieu said he had family back home watching.

“I was trying to think up the middle and move the runner over,” he said, “and I guess all the adrenaline [got me] and I got the barrel out there really quickly. I don’t hit too many homers — to see me hit a homer, it’s like, what the heck is that?”

It’s a good sign, that’s what it is.

— Carrie Muskat

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