By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You would be hard-pressed to find a college pitcher who had more success over a career than La Salle’s Pat Christensen. After four years with the Explorers, he finished his college career fifth, all-time, in NCAA Division I history in saves with 44. He also had the lowest ERA (2.73) in La Salle history and was named the Big 5 Pitcher of the Year as a senior.
All that has opened the door to pro baseball for Christensen, as he was selected by the Houston Astros over the weekend in the 27th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
“I’m so excited and couldn’t be any happier about the experience,” Christensen tells KYW Newsradio.
It is always an incredible moment for a young baseball player to find out that his years of hard work have paid off. So how did the the La Jolla, California, native find out that his draft dream had come true?
“The funny thing is I don’t have Internet right now because I’m still on campus, just kind of waiting,” Christensen says. “So I was on my phone, and things were loading slowly and I get a phone call saying, ‘Congratulations.’ And I said, ‘Um, I guess this is probably good news.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we just drafted you, we’re the Houston Astros.’ It was funny because he had figured I was watching the draft live, but I didn’t have a chance to. So the phone call was a big shock to me.”
So does it feel real that he’s a professional baseball player yet?
“Not yet,” Christensen says. “I think by the time I actually go to where I’m suppose to go to start playing baseball, that’s when it will feel real to me. I’m still in that kind of stage where it hasn’t sunk in completely yet. But it is definitely a cool feeling, getting a lot of support from my friends and family. It’s been awesome.”
Christensen also excelled in the classroom with the Explorers, earning Academic All-American status.
He is the first La Salle player drafted since pitcher Cody Weiss back in 2011.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.