OMAHA, Neb. -- Pat Casey was running out of pitchers, so he turned to a guy who hadn't started since April.
Daniel Turpen responded with the game of his career and kept Oregon State alive at the College World Series.
Turpen and Joe Paterson combined on a five-hitter, Shea McFeely homered for the second straight game and Oregon State beat Rice 5-0 on Wednesday night. The Beavers (47-15) forced another meeting against the Owls (57-12), with the winner of Thursday night's
matchup advancing to the best-of-three championship series against North Carolina.
"We were on our last leg, and we asked Turp to get out there and give us a good start, to give us the distance he could go: three, four, two, five, whatever it was, and we'd clean up whatever we had to do," Casey said. "Boy, he pitched a heck of a ballgame against a very good club, and we scored enough runs to take the pressure off of him. And then, Joe Pa came in and did a great job."
Turpen (3-0) gave the Beavers their third straight impressive start when facing elimination. The sophomore right-hander, who made only 11 previous appearances this season, scattered five hits over a career-high 6 2/3 innings.
"Obviously, it's the College World Series, and it's something every kid wants to be in, but I approached it like it was just another game, just another relief appearance," Turpen said. "And I went out there and did my job, threw strikes and my defense backed me up."
Turpen's last start came April 30 against New Mexico, when he went 6 1/3 innings in an 8-2 win.
"Our concern was here's a guy that hasn't started in a while, and it'll be in a big event, and we were hoping that he wouldn't be too hyped up and throw a lot of pitches early and we'd have to get into our bullpen," Casey said. "He just came out and pitched like a veteran."
Paterson threw 2 1/3 hitless innings to seal the victory, Oregon State's third straight. The solid pitching performance followed Jonah Nickerson's seven strong innings Monday in a win over Georgia and Mike Stutes' six-plus innings in the victory over Miami.
"We couldn't get anything going offensively," Rice third baseman Josh Rodriguez said. "I don't think we were ready mentally. Stepping in the box, we were swinging at some pitches we shouldn't be swinging at. [Turpen] threw strikes. That's what you're supposed to do when you pitch. He got outs when he needed them."
Turpen tired in the seventh, but Rice failed to take advantage. Aaron Luna was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a passed ball and went to third on Jordan Dodson's groundout. With a 1-0 count on pinch-hitter Kenny Ford, Paterson came in.
Rice coach Wayne Graham countered by sending in Derek Myers to pinch-hit for Ford, and Myers walked. Tyler Henley followed with a soft grounder halfway down the first-base line that Paterson fielded, but Henley -- a star running back in high school -- ran into the pitcher hard, knocking him over. First-base umpire Paul Guillie immediately called Henley out and ejected him for the excessive shove.
"I thought it was just a reaction," Graham said. "Tyler is certainly not a dirty player. He's an ex-football player. I think just maybe he had a flashback. Somebody stood right in the line. It was a linebacker, I guess."
Turpen was helped by Oregon State's three-run third inning against Craig Crow (8-3).
John Wallace led off with a single on a hard grounder to first that took a high hop that Joe Savery couldn't handle. After Cole Gillespie walked, Bill Rowe lined an opposite-field single into left and Wallace slid home ahead of Luna's throw to make it 1-0.
Crow followed with a wild pitch that bounced well in front of the plate and away from catcher Danny Lehmann, allowing the runners to move up. Tyler Graham walked to load the bases and end Crow's night.
The junior right-hander, an 11th-round draft pick by Houston, allowed three runs in two-plus innings.
Bobby Bramhall came on in relief and hit Mitch Canham on the right hand with a pitch, forcing in another run. Chris Kunda's groundout to second made it 3-0.
McFeely made it 4-0 in the sixth, sending a 1-2 pitch from Bramhall barely over the fence and into the first row of seats in left field.
Rowe's sacrifice fly in the eighth scored Gillespie, who reached on a one-out triple.
Rice loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Turpen struck out Lehmann to end the threat.
Graham also saved a run in the fifth when Greg Buchanan hit a hard liner into the gap in center field with a runner on first. Graham charged to his left, closed in on the ball and dived to make a nice sliding grab for the third out.
"I think this team can't get too high after tonight," Graham said. "We played well, but we could've played a lot better, I thought. But we did enough to win, and that's all that matters at this point in the season. We're one game away from the championship series, and that's something really special."