When of West Nyack started his college career at Rutgers University, he went there as a football player and spent four seasons on the football field for the Scarlet Knights.
When he finished football, he decided to take a shot at college baseball — and he made the Rutgers team as a walk-on.
Today, the Rutgers junior third baseman was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round — 131st overall — of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
"It's a dream come true," said Kivlehan, 22, at his family's West Nyack home. "The scout said they will call in the next couple of days and we'll go from there."
Kivlehan's father, Pat, said his son has played football and baseball his whole life and their family and friends were elated by today's draft selection.
In high school, Patrick Kivlehan played baseball and football for St. Joseph's High School in Montvale. In his only season on the diamond for the Scarlet Knights, he was the 2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year won the first league triple crown in conference history (.402, 10, 36).
Rutgers head coach Fred Hill praised Kivlehan’s efforts from the past season. With today’s pick, Rutgers has had 67 players drafted or signed by MLB teams during Hill’s 29 seasons “On the Banks”.
“We’re extremely pleased,” Hill said. “It’s great that he was taken in the fourth round by the Mariners. I think it’s just an outstanding story. He hadn’t played in four years, so to be taken in the fourth round is a tribute to the young man. He worked extremely hard this past season to be named conference player of the year, which is incredible. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Kivlehan, 6' 2" and 210 lbs., helped lead RU to its 11th BIG EAST Championships appearance in program history, posting a 31-25 season record. Overall, he batted .392 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs overall, to go with a .693 slugging percentage and .480 on-base percentage in 2012 after his successful four-year career (2008-11) for the RU football team.
"I missed game of baseball," Kivlehan said. "When the opportunity presented itself, I got back with it."
Kivlehan has been home from Rutgers for several weeks. He said he's been working out and practicing at batting cages to stay in shape.
On the diamond for Rutgers, Kivlehan played third base. However, he said he is also and outfielder and expects that's where he'll be heading.
Kivlehan’s selection marks the highest a Scarlet Knight has been drafted since current Cincinnati Red standout Todd Frazier was selected 34th overall by that club in 2007.
Kivlehan took home four weekly league honors during the course of the Rutgers season, including the BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 26 after getting seven hits and reaching base safely in 12-of-15 plate appearances against Seton Hall in the first conference series. He was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on April 2, April 30 and May 14.
During the season, Kivlehan recorded 24 multiple-hit games, including three contests with four knocks. He concluded the season having reached base safely in the last 27 games, adding 14 games with at least two RBIs. Rutgers recorded a 23-16 mark after the big-hitting third baseman took over the cleanup spot on March 18 at Stetson.
“I’m excited and honored that the Mariners would select me,” Kivlehan said. “I’m basically just excited and ready to go. I’m fortunate that I will be able to keep playing.”
The MLB Draft concludes Wednesday at Noon with rounds 16-40.