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Legends top Hickory 4-2 behind Ray

Corey Ray pitched seven strong innings, and Chase Vallot and Amalani Fukofuka each drove in two runs as the Lexington Legends took a 4-2 win over the Hickory Crawdads Wednesday in front of 5, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

The Legends scored two runs in the first inning.  A bunt single by Cody Jones, a base hit by D.J. Burt, and a walk to Samir Duenez loaded the bases.  After Vallot struck out, Fukofuka lined a single to right field, scoring Jones and Burt.

A walk to Jones and a two-out double by Vallot in the third put the Legends up 3-0.

Yeyson Yrizarri’s leadoff homer in the fourth put Hickory on the board, and the Crawdads cut the lead to one with a run in the seventh.   Josh Altmann doubled and with one out, scored on a triple by LeDarious Clark.   But Ray stranded the tying run at third base by striking out Chuck Moorman and Ti’Quan Forbes.

Vallot’s eighth-inning homer, his seventh of the season, provided Lexington’s final run.

Ray (2-1) got the victory.  He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, and struck out five batters and walked none.   Yunior Marte blanked the Crawdads on one hit over the final two innings for his first save of the year.

Hickory starter Jonathan Hernandez (4-3) took the loss, despite recording 10 strikeouts in six innings.

The Crawdads won two out of three in the series.

The Legends will open a four-game series in Greenville, S.C. Thursday night.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.

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