By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Every college athlete probably dreams about being the star on Senior Day, going out in style in their final collegiate home game.
On Sunday, La Salle closer Pat Christensen got to live that dream. The senior got the final five outs and picked up the win when the Explorers scored a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to snap a 2-2 tie and beat Delaware 3-2.
“And (fellow senior Dan) Klem (scored) the game winning run, so it could not have been drawn up any better,” Christensen told KYW Newsradio after the game. “It was a great day. Great way to end it on the Hank (La Salle’s home – Hank DeVincent Field).”
It was indeed a great day, but it is just the latest of several great days for the right-hander from La Jolla, California. He has made a significant impact on the baseball program at La Salle, but his career has also elevated him among the elite closers in the history of Division I baseball.
With 10 saves in 2013, Christensen now has 43 for his career, and that has him tied for sixth on the all-time Division I list (the record is 53). That is pretty rarified air, but Christensen says he isn’t focusing on records right now.
“I think that’s something I’ll probably let soak in after the season is over,” Christensen says. “Right now I’m just interested getting the team to try and get a first-round bye (in the Atlantic 10 tournament) if we can, get first overall in the conference and then take it from there. But I think after the season, it will definitely start to soak in for me.”
Christensen has a 6-1 record this season to go along with those ten saves. In 41.2 innings, he has compiled a 2.59 ERA with 48 strikeouts. He has walked just eight batters.
“He comes in and competes,” La Salle pitching coach John Duffy tells KYW Newsradio. “And he throws strikes. He’s not going to let himself get beat by not throwing strikes. He gives our team a tremendous amount of confidence. Our guys know, when he comes in, he’s going to throw strikes, they make some great plays behind him. He’s a competitor. He’s a winner on the field, off the field, and that’s the best way to describe him. He’s a winner.”