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USC eliminates LSU from title contention

SHARE USC eliminates LSU from title contention

Jason Lane homered twice then took the mound in the eighth inning to stop LSU's two-out rally, leading Southern California to a 7-3 victory Friday, eliminating the two-time defending champs from the College World Series.

In an all-Pac 10 title championship game, the Trojans (48-17) will play Arizona State (41-22) on Saturday.LSU (48-19) was denied a shot at a third straight NCAA title and its fifth championship of the 1990s as USC right-hander Mike Penney (8-4) held the long ball-hitting Tigers scoreless for 7 2-3 innings.

"Mike shut us down," LSU coach Skip Bertman said. "He was really tough."

Penney was strong for six innings against an LSU team that had set a World Series record with 15 homers. But after getting Josh Dalton to fly out to third and striking out Trey McClure in the seventh, he ran into trouble.

Eddy Furniss walked after hitting a foul ball out of the park down the right field line. Brad Cresse singled before Jeff Leaumont hit Penney's first pitch over the right field fence to pull the Tigers within 7-3.

Penney gave up a single to Wes Davis and ran the count to 2-0 on Blair Barbier before Southern Cal coach Mike Gillespie went to the bullpen for Lane, who up to that point had been the designated hitter.

Lane threw only two pitches to Barbier, who hit a pop foul to first baseman Robb Gorr. Lane then retired the side on two strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth to send USC to the NCAA title game for the 14th time.

At the plate, Lane sent both of his homers to virtually the same spot - each landing amid the girders in the right field light tower.