LSU shells Auburn for series win

LSU showed Auburn the U.S. Armed Forces aren't the only outfit that can conduct a shock-and-awe campaign.<br><br>The Bayou Bengals decimated the visiting Tigers 20-3 at Alex Box Stadium behind a 19-hit barrage and a solid outing from starting pitcher Bo Pettit.<br><br>LSU (35-16-1, 18-7-1) can clinch the SEC regular season championship Sunday with a win and a Mississippi State loss.

"We have to take it a game at a time," said Aaron Hill. "Friday and today, we had focus and we have to keep that tomorrow. This is what we've been looking forward to all year long, to get that SEC ring."

Most of LSU's damage was done in an eight-hit, 11-run third inning. Ryan Patterson led off the inning with a single, and Matt Liuzza brought him in with an RBI double to give LSU a 7-1 lead. Bruce Sprowl walked next, and J.C. Holt drove in another run with a single up the middle.

Auburn skipper Steve Renfroe decided to put in reliever Andrew Skinner to face Aaron Hill, but his second pitch was blasted into the left-center-field bleachers for a three-run homer/

Blake Gill and Clay Harris both reached base and Ivan Naccarata brought them in with a triple, giving the Tigers a 13-1 lead. Naccarata scored on a fielding error off Jon Zeringue's bloop hit. Another RBI double by Liuzza and an RBI triple by Sprowl piled on two more runs, and the final run of the inning came in on a passed ball charged to Auburn catcher Bobby Huddleston.

Hill led the Tiger onslaught, going 3-for-6 with four RBIs.

"Everyone did a good job today," said Hill. "We almost had 20 hits and if you have that many hits and you score 20 runs, I don't think there's a team in the country that can beat you."

The Tigers also had a helping hand from a stiff win that was blowing into the outfield. "This isn't a very big park," said Holt, who ripped his third homer of the year in the second inning. "And when you have the wind in here, the ball carries well. Aaron had that homerun, and he said he didn't hit it as well as he could of, but it still got out of here a good ways."

Pettit (8-2) threw six innings and struck out eight batters. He had his usual early struggles, allowing a run in the first, but settled down to scatter six hits and two runs over the next five innings. Greg Smith and Chad Vaught combined for three innings of scoreless relief, with Vaught striking out the side in the ninth.

"We had some good fortune and some good base hits," said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "Today was different then yesterday, we had a better plan and better focus."

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