The Lexington Legends built an early 5-0 lead and went on to a 7-4 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws in the 2016 season opener Thursday night, April 7 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark with the help of Amalani Fufofuka's three-run homer. Danville, Ky., native Jacob Bodner also picked up a save with a scoreless ninth inning.
A high Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, Lexington took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, Lexington native Anderson Miller walked and stole second, and Ben Johnson was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up when Michael Hill grounded out, and after Marten Gasparini walked, Cody Jones singled to left field, scoring Miller and Johnson.
In the bottom of the third, Samir Duenez and Chase Vallot singled, and Fukofuka (pictured) followed with a drive over the right field wall, putting the Legends up by five.
Lakewood cut the lead to 5-3 on a solo homer by Deivi Grullon in the fourth and a two-run double by Josh Tobias in the fifth. The BlueClaws moved to within a run in the sixth when Jan Hernandez singled to drive in Damek Tomscha, who had led off the inning with a walk.
But the Legends responded with a run in the seventh on Miller’s triple and Johnson’s sacrifice fly, and another in the eighth on Vallot’s RBI double.
Emilio Ogando (1-0), who relieved starter Scott Blewett with one out in the fifth inning, picked up the win. Lakewood starter Franklyn Kilome (0-1) took the loss.
Ex-UK star Alex Poythress helped the Legends open the 2016 campaign by throwing a ceremonial first pitch.
The series continues Friday night, April 8 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Photo by Lexington Legends
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught