In a change from 2012, the Keydets return virtually every infielder they expect to see playing time this season.
Cody Holder returns as the projected starter at third base. He hit in the middle of the lineup early last season and was solid, including blasting his first collegiate home run against Hartford. He, however, went down with a leg injury on March 6 against William & Mary and would miss the remainder of the season. This year, Holder is projected to return to the middle of the lineup and likely serve as the starting third baseman.
To his left will be returning starting shortstop Nick Dwyer. Dwyer started last season, his true freshman campaign, at second base before shifting to shortstop, and wound up hitting .258 in 45 games with 41 starts. At Gray-Minor Stadium, however, he hit .329 for the year and he hopes to carry that type of success into his second collegiate season.
The projected starter at second base is Drew Bryan, another sophomore. Bryan improved as his freshman campaign progressed, posting a batting average 35 points higher than his season mark during Big South play. At first base, the Keydets are expected to go with junior Berkley Hawkins. Hawkins started at first base for the first two weeks of the 2011 season, and saw time at first base, third base and catcher last year, hitting .262 in 27 games.
Notable infield backups will include Cameron Walter, the redshirt sophomore who saw a great deal of time at first base last season, second baseman Michael Donovan and true freshman Ray Lopez. Walter hit .256 in 39 contests and posted three triples in his first collegiate season, Donovan chipped in a .245 average in 19 games and Lopez comes to VMI after a standout career at Lampeter-Strasburg HS in Lancaster, Pa. Sophomore Thomas Stallings and freshman David Geary can play multiple positions, while Geary provides Coach Ikenberry with the versatility of a left-handed bat.