ARLINGTON, VA – La Salle junior closer Pat Christensen (La Jolla, CA / La Jolla) set the program’s all-time save record with the 30th of his career as the Explorers defeated George Washington, 2-1, to complete yesterday’s suspended game on Saturday at Barcroft Park. The Blue and Gold dropped the night cap, 6-4, but still captured the series victory in the Atlantic 10 opener.
Christensen broke the school record set by Gerard Breslin, who saved 29 games from 2004-07. The 30 saves are also a Big 5 and Atlantic 10 record.
The Explorers (13-10, 2-1 A-10) were trailing 1-0 in the top of the seventh yesterday when the game was called on account of darkness. La Salle was rallying, however, with runners on second and third and one out, before the umpires halted the contest.
On Saturday, after the game was delayed from 1 PM to 4 PM due to rain, senior Brendan Norton lofted a sacrifice fly that plated freshman Ryan Welling, who walked to lead off the inning. The game was tied at 1-1 with a runner in scoring position but the visitors were unable to score the go-ahead run.
Freshman Mike McLeod (2-0), who earned the win, escaped a one-out jam with a runner on third by inducing a pop-up and a strikeout.
He earned the win when in the eighth, senior Marc Schoch doubled to left and freshman Kevin Conroy came through with a two-out double of his own to give the Explorers a 2-1 lead.
Junior Ryan Donahue pitched a perfect eighth and got the first out of the ninth before Christensen retired the final two batters for his record-breaking save.
Junior Joe Bennie had a pair of hits for La Salle in the first game. Senior Kevin Christy tossed a strong six innings on Friday, allowing just one earned run and striking out four. Kenny O’Brien (2-2) suffered the loss, allowing one earned run in 2.2 innings.
In the nightcap, GW scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to break up a 4-4 tie and salvage one win in the three-game series.
Bennie had a pair of singles while junior Dan Klem doubled and tripled for the Explorers.
Norton walked and scored on a wild pitch to get the visitors on the board in the first but the Colonials took the lead in the second with two runs.
Klem’s two-out triple in the fourth tied the score and later scored on a passed ball to put La Salle ahead 3-2. George Washington tied the score in the sixth but LU regained the lead on a Bennie RBI single in the seventh.
It would be the last lead of the game for La Salle as GW plated two runs in the eighth and the Explorers could not muster a base-runner in the ninth.
Junior Shane Petrellis (0-3)suffered the loss in relief, throwing five innings and allowing three earned runs. He struck out five.
Justin Albright (2-0) picked up the win with three innings of scoreless relief.
The Explorers return to the diamond on Tuesday at Lafayette in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic.