Tigers bash Tennessee to clinch road series

A three-run home run from outfielder Matt Heath gave LSU the breathing room it needed to post a 6-2 win over Tennessee in the series finale between the two Southeastern Conference schools. <br><br> The win gave the Tigers their fourth SEC series victory of the season and their first in league play after dropping the opener.

LSU (33-16, 14-9 SEC) remains a half-game ahead of Ole Miss in the league's West division following the Rebels' 4-2 win at South Carolina. The Tigers resume their league schedule this weekend when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to meet the Florida Gators.


Tennessee (24-25, 9-15) finished the weekend having allowed 44 LSU hits, with 15 coming in the series-clincher. 


Although LSU never trailed in Sunday's game against Tennessee, the Tigers looked susceptible at times due to the control problems of starting pitcher Bo Pettit. The junior from Houston held the Volunteers to five hits but issued six walks on the afternoon to create opportunities for a comeback.


Pettit threw seven innings and recorded six strikeouts to improve to 6-6 on the season. Jake Tompkins threw the last two innings for LSU and allowed two hits with two strikeouts.


LSU turned four singles into two runs in its first at-bat. Sean Barker got the game's first RBI with a one-out base hit that drove in Rocky Scelfo, and Eric Weithorn followed with a run-scoring single to right field that scored Wally Pontiff.


Barker singled in his first three at-bats in Sunday's game to finish the weekend 9-for-14 at the plate with four runs scored and three RBI.


The first walk Pettit allowed in the game turned into Tennessee's first run. Withone out in the bottom of the first, Brandon Hopkins reached on four balls and advanced to third base on Walter Sevilla's double down the left field line. Hopkins scored when Ryan Moffett grounded out to deep short.


Sevilla led Tennessee at the plate in the loss, going 3-for-5 with his fifth triple of the season.


A double from Jon Zeringue in the top of the second nearly identical to Sevilla's led to LSU scoring what would be the winning run in the game. The third double of the weekend from the freshman outfielder pushed Chris Phillips, who led off the inning with single, to third base. With one out, Aaron Hill hit a fly ball sharply to right field that allowed Phillips to tag and score, putting the Tigers ahead 3-1.


Tennessee drew back to within a run when Hal Bibee Jr. led off the fourth with his fourth home run of the season. The Vols followed with a single and a walk, but a fly out to short and a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning.


Heath provided his homer with two out and two on in the fifth inning. The Tigers had left three base runners stranded in scoring position in the first half of the game, but Heath came through with a blast over the left field fence that produced the final score.


All of the Tigers' runs came against Tennessee starter Dusty Johnson, who served up 13 hits over 5 2/3 innings. Dennis Gomez pitched the remainder of the game and held the Tigers to two hits while waiting for the comeback that never came.


Pettit stranded five more Tennessee base runners in over the next three innings, leaving Sevilla at third in the seventh after he led off with a single and stole two bases.


Sevilla touched Pettit for a triple with two outs in the ninth, but Moffett flew out to center to end the game.

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