Not so close today; Tigers trounce UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. - Second-ranked LSU blasted five home runs Saturday to highlight a 19-hit attack as the Tigers defeated Central Florida, 17-4, at Jay Bergman Field. <br><br> LSU (2-0) faces UCF (2-2) in Game 3 of the series at Noon CST Sunday. Freshman left-hander Clay Dirks (0-0) will make his LSU debut on the mound while UCF will counter with right-hander Kyle Bono.

UCF led 1-0 in the first inning Saturday when left fielder Dee Brown delivered an RBI single against LSU starter Lane Mestepey, who was making his first pitching appearance since June, 2002, after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Mestepey shut out UCF for the remainder of his five-inning outing. He scattered five hits, allowing one run with two walks and one strikeout.

Meanwhile, LSU's bats came alive Saturday after producing just four runs on seven hits in Friday's 4-3 win over UCF.

The Tigers sent nine men to the plate in a five-run fourth inning highlighted by center fielder J.C. Holt's two-run single and a three-run homer - his first of the season - by left fielder Ryan Patterson.

LSU increased the lead to 7-1 in the sixth on a solo homer by shortstop Matt Horwath and an RBI grounder by first baseman Clay Harris.

The Tigers scored five more runs in the seventh as Harris sparked the rally with a three-run blast, his first of the year.

UCF scored three runs in the seventh against reliever Michael Bonura to narrow the deficit to 12-4, but LSU produced its third five-run inning in the ninth. Reserve infielders Bobby DiLiberto and Derek Hebert each launched their first career LSU home runs and backup outfielder Ty Jensen provided an RBI single to account for the final margin.

UCF starter Jaime Douglas (0-1) took the loss, as he was charged with two runs on three hits in 3.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

LSU 0 0 0 5 0 2 5 0 5 -- 17 19 1
UCF 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 -- 4 7 2


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