Duke University outfielder and Shelbyville High School graduate Damon Lux delivered the game-winning hit Tuesday for the Kalamazoo Growlers in a 4-3 victory over the Battle Creek Bombers.
The Growlers are members of the Northwoods League, founded in 1994, that allows collegiate players to experience life as a minor league and major league baseball player.
Lux recently joined the Kalamazoo, Michigan based squad and is hitting .375 in six games with six runs batted in.
The Growlers (10-12) and the Bombers (7-14) were locked in a 3-3 tie Tuesday when Lux came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs.
“At first, I was going to go up and take until I got a strike,” said Lux in the Growlers’ post-game report. “But then when I got 1-0, I knew he was going to come back in with a fastball … I didn’t think he was going with a slider because he didn’t want to get behind. I saw a good fastball and I just tried to stay low and keep it up the middle.”
Lux fought off the inside pitch and hit Bombers reliever Dave Burgin. The ball rolled along the infield grass to third baseman Edward Johnson, who barehanded the ball but his throw to first base was not in time to beat the hustling Lux.
Lux turned to find his teammates giving chase to celebrate the team’s fifth-straight victory.
“I’m really liking it. This is my fifth day here and I’ve already gotten to know the guys quicker than my last summer in the Woods (with the Bismarck Larks in 2019). The guys are awesome,” said Lux.
The Growlers are sixth-year members of the Northwoods League which has expanded to 22 teams in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Canada.
The schedule includes 72 games over 77 days and provides the opportunity to play in front of Major League Baseball scouts, be coached by former minor and major league players and coaches, and play on teams with some of the best collegiate players from across the country.
Notable alumni of the Northwoods League include Max Scherzer, Curtis Granderson, Chris Sale, Drew Smyly, Andy Dirks, Allen Craig and Andre Ethier.
Video of Lux's game-winning hit can be seen at GIANT fm's Facebook page.