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LSU drubs Florida behind 3 homers

Florida used three pitchers. Louisiana State hit three home runs. The feats added up to the Tigers' sixth straight win against the Gators.

Eddy Furniss and Trey McClure each hit three-run homers, and Brad Cresse also homered as the Tigers hammered Florida 13-5 in Friday night's opener of a three-game series at McKethan Stadium.

"I must have given them the wrong pep talk," Florida coach Andy Lopez said of his club, which lost a Friday night game for the first time since March 6. "I did a poor job of coaching. I didn't get my guys ready to compete. Hopefully, I'll get them ready to compete (today)."

The Tigers, the two-time defending NCAA champions, took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by McClure's home run. UF's Greg Catalanotte hit a two-run shot in the second to bring the Gators within 5-4, but LSU scored eight runs to put the game out of reach.

Furniss' shot over the rightfield fence stretched LSU's lead to 12-4. It was his 20th homer and gave the Tigers three players with more than 20 home runs for the first time in school history.

LSU starter Jake Esteves scattered eight hits over seven innings.

Florida starter Matt McClendon allowed 12 hits and 11 runs in five innings as he picked up his first loss in seven starts. Reliever Sergio Rodriguez didn't fare any better. The junior left-hander pitched to two batters, giving up homers to Furniss and Cresse.

"It was a tough game. We just didn't get it done tonight," UF rightfielder Derek Nicholson said. "We've been doing pretty well on Friday night, but obviously tonight was very different."

The Gators and Tigers play at 7 tonight and at 1 p.m. Sunday.

CLEMSON 2, FSU 1: Derek Borgert was 3-for-4 and Ryan Mottl allowed four hits in 8 innings for host Clemson.

UNC CHARLOTTE 14, USF 8: Visiting UNC Charlotte scored nine runs in the first.

GEORGIA TECH 22, MIAMI 7: Host Georgia Tech had its highest run total against the Hurricanes and snapped their 26-game win streak.

_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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