Wednesday, June 21, 2006 • Box score
Daniel Turpen added his name to the list of unlikely College World Series heroes Wednesday night in helping Oregon State extend its stay in Omaha by at least one day.
Making just his second start of the season, and his first since April 30, the sophomore right-hander threw 6-2/3 scoreless innings to propel the Beavers to a 5-0 victory over top-ranked Rice and force a second Bracket Two championship game. It was to be played Thursday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.
"They have a very good ballclub, and so do we,'' Rice coach Wayne Graham said. "They have rested pitchers, and we're in the same situation. It has the potential to be a great ballgame.''
Graham figures to start All-American Eddie Degerman in the game to decide who will play in the championship series against North Carolina, which won Wednesday's other game in a doubleheader that drew an all-time CWS turnout of 30,335.
Oregon State coach Pat Casey hedged on his starter, but could turn to two-time AllAmerican Dallas Buck.
Regardless of whom Oregon State throws, he'll have to go a ways to better the performance Turpen delivered against the 57-12 Owls. He pitched around four singles and a double, struck out three and got 10 of his other 17 outs with ground balls to stymie a Rice offense that had been averaging almost seven runs and 11 hits in the NCAA tournament.
Prior to Wednesday's game, Turpen's biggest claim to fame was being the pitcher who recorded the final three outs of Oregon State's 15-0 super regional-clinching victory over Stanford.
"I just tried to go out there as if this was just another game,'' said Turpen, who had pitched just 43 innings over the past two seasons. "I went out there and did my job, threw strikes and the defense backed me up.''
Before the game, Casey had said he hoped for five good innings out of Turpen.
"We were hoping that he wouldn't be too hyped out, but he came out and pitched like a veteran,'' Casey said. "Turp and I have had this discussion before, and I've told him it's not where you are when you come into the program but it's where you are when you leave. And sometimes, when you least expect it, you're going to get the baseball in a big game.''
Turpen cemented his spot in Beaver baseball history with his standout performance. Rice got three runners to third base but couldn't advance them further against either Turpen or Joe Paterson, his former high school teammate from McMinnville, Ore.
Paterson came on with Rice's Aaron Luna on third base in the seventh inning and walked pinch-hitter Derek Myers. Paterson got Tyler Henley to hit a swinging bunt up the first-base line. The pitcher fielded the ball, stepped in front of Henley and held onto the ball after Henley, a former high school running back, bowled into him.
Henley was ejected, but Graham said he was told his center fielder will be able to play tonight.
Paterson pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings to finish off Oregon State's third straight win following Saturday's 11-1 humbling by Miami. The Beavers eliminated Georgia on Monday and Miami on Tuesday, using a total of 25 hits in the two games to stay alive.
Against Rice, the Beavers made the most of their seven hits off three Owl pitchers. They also benefited from four walks and three hit batsmen.
The Beavers broke through with three runs in the third, as Bill Rowe had an RBI single, Mitch Canham was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Chris Kunda had a run-scoring groundout.
Shea McFeely made it 4-0 in the sixth with his second homer in two games, and Cole Gillespie's triple and Rowe's sacrifice fly in the seventh accounted for the Beavers' final run.
"We played well, but we can play a lot better,'' Oregon State center fielder Tyler Graham said. "We did enough to win, and that's all that matters at this point in the season. Getting a chance to play for a championship is pretty special, and now we're one game away.''