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Ledford powers Dragons in season-opening victory

Kilian Ledford made an impressive return after two years away from baseball, pounding out a homer and two doubles for four RBI as Harlan opened the season with a 13-1 win Monday at Leslie County.

“It was a great day of baseball for us. We came out ready to compete. It took us a while to get our offense going, but I’m really pleased with how we played,” Harlan coach Cory Estep said “From top to bottom, we competed throughout the entire game.”

Ethan Cornett and Will Varner teamed on a no-hitter. Cornett earned the win as he struck out seven and walked four in four innings. Varner struck out all three batters he faced in the fifth inning.

“Ethan came out and did really well on the mound,” Estep said. “He had his fastball and change-up working really well last night. Then Varner came in and shut the door on them.”

Varner added two doubles and a single in Harlan’s 14-hit attack. Evan Browning singled twice. Jared Hawkins, Andrew Roark, Michael Robinson, Kanyon Hall, Josh Knuckles and John Mark Bryson added one single each.

“Offensively, Varner and Kilian at the top of the order provided sparks for us that we kept feeding off of,” Estep said. “Kilian put together some great at bats and it shows in his power numbers last night. Our offense was, from top to bottom, really competitive, even the guys that I brought in late. I’m really pleased with our performance.”

Harlan (1-0) travels to Letcher Central on Tuesday.

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Harlan 203 08 — 13. 14. 0

Leslie County 100 00 — 1. 0. 1

Cornett, Varner and Knuckles; Adams, Hensley (4), Lewis (5) and Spurlock. HR — Ledford (1).