By Tony Ciuffo
Phillip Watcher drove in four runs and pitched six solid innings that helped No. 1 Sumter beat No. 3 Lexington 7-5 in the opening round of the Forest Acres Classic at A.C. Flora on Monday. Lexington, which fell to 12-5, takes on Airport at 5:00 on Tuesday. The Gamecocks improved to 14-2 and faces the host Falcons at 8 p.m. Watcher had a two-run double in the third inning that gave Sumter the lead for good at 2-1. His two-run double highlighted the Gamecocks' five-run fourth inning and stretched their lead to 7-1. Lexington got a run in fifth inning and added a three-run double by William Hunter in the sixth inning that cut Sumter's lead to 7-5. Ryan Brown, Cameron Matthews and Justin Bowers led Lexington with two hits each. Watcher finished 3-for-4, while Javon Martin and Tee Dubose added two hits each for Sumter. Watcher (4-1) picked up the win allowing five runs, four earned, with six strikeouts over the first six innings. Chris Crawford pitched the seventh inning for his first save. Michael Smoak (4-1) suffered the loss allowing seven runs, three earned, over the first 3 2/3 innings.