FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LEXINGTON, Va.- Head coach Marlin Ikenberry and his coaching staff have announced the early signings of three players to the VMI Baseball Class of 2014. Each of the three hail from the Commonwealth, as the class consists of Connor Bach (Clifton, Va./Centreville), Berkley Hawkins (Richmond, Va./Trinity Episcopal) and Campbell Henkel (Richmond, Va./ St. Christopher’s).
Connor Bach (Clifton, Va./Centreville) enters his senior campaign as a three-year letterman. He earned All-District honors as both a left-handed pitcher and outfielder as a junior, helping lead Centreville to the Northern Region playoffs. Last summer he played on a USA Select team that traveled to the Dominican Republic. In addition to his hardball exploits, Bach also plays as a defensive back on the CVHS football team and as a guard on the basketball squad. Bach continues a string of Division I athletes in his family, as his father played volleyball at Purdue while his grandfather played soccer at San Jose State. He plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at the Institute.
“Connor throws his fastball between 82-86 mph and can throw all three pitches for strikes,” said Ikenberry. “Offensively, he has gap-to-gap power and is projected to play first base and corner outfield for us. He comes from a very good high school program at Centreville, which is well coached by Morgan Spencer. Connor also comes from the same high school as (current VMI pitcher) Ryan Barefoot.”
Berkley Hawkins (Richmond, Va./Trinity Episcopal) is a four-year letterman as a catcher and shortstop that earned First Team All-State honors last season in the Virginia Independent League. As a junior, Hawkins served as a team captain and hit .506 with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 37 RBI, helping lead TES to a co-championship of the Virginia Prep League. In addition, he led the VPL in RBI and ranked third in both home runs and batting average, while his RBI total set a new TES school record and his HR total tied the single-season mark. He also hit .420 with six home runs while playing for the Richmond Braves 17U Blue team, and hit a three-run home run in the 2009 Commonwealth Games. Hawkins’ major at VMI is undecided.
“Berkley is very athletic, which will allow him to play many positions for us,” said Ikenberry. “He has an above-average arm behind the plate, is a very solid defensive catcher and offensively projects as a middle of the lineup-type hitter.”
Campbell Henkel (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher’s) is a four-year letterman as a pitcher and first baseman, who sports career stats of a .350 batting average, 15 home runs and 60 RBI offensively, and a 12-4 mark with a 2.62 ERA and 107 strikeouts on the mound. A Virginia Independent League All-State pick and a Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Metro selection as a junior, Henkel helped lead St. Christopher’s to a share of the Virginia Prep League title last season. He holds the school records for home runs in both a season (9) and a career (15), while his 0.50 ERA in eight starts as a sophomore also established a new mark. He was named to the All-Tournament team at a national 14U AAU tournament and is a three-time All-Prep and All-State honoree. Away from the diamond, Henkel has lettered as a quarterback on the football team and at forward on the basketball team. Henkel also continues a family tradition of Division I athletes, as his father, Merle, was a three-year letterman as a pitcher at Wake Forest, helping the Demon Deacons to the 1977 ACC title, while his uncle, Robert Henkel ‘78, was a four-year letterman on the baseball team at VMI. In addition, his grandfather was a catcher in the Indians organization while his cousin played four years of baseball at Christopher Newport. Henkel plans to major in Economics and Business at the Institute.
“Campbell is a very solid left-handed pitcher,” said Ikenberry. “He has plus movement on his fastball and shows signs of developing a very good slider. Campbell is known for his pitch-ability and his changeup. He also played on the Central team at the Commonwealth Games last summer with (fellow signee) Berkley Hawkins. Campbell’s uncle, Robert Henkel, also played baseball at VMI.”