BELLEVILLE - Most senior athletes wish that their final go around is one to remember.
Belleville's A.J. Yoder got to live out that dream in his final season at the Virginia Military Institute.
In his last season playing baseball for the Keydets, Yoder won a player of the week award in the Big South Conference the same week his younger brother, Ben, won the player of the week award for Bucknell in the Patroit League.
Yoder also was named to the all-conference Big South team and was named to the all tournament team. He is the first VMI player to be named to the all-tournament team in the six year history that VMI has been in the Big South.
In four years in Lexington, Va., Yoder hit .300 and in 2009 he had 80 hits in 229 at bats for a .349 average. The 80 hits and the 229 at bats are a single season high for any V.M.I. player in the history of the school.
In 2007, he played in 55 games and started 55 and both of those numbers are also a single season best although he is tied with several other players for that record.
On the career charts, he appears in 13 top ten categories. Yoder played in 201 games, fourth best all-time and had 736 at bats also fourth best.
He scored 131 runs, eighth best in VMI history and he accounted for 221 hits, third best all-time.
In the extra-base hit department, Yoder had 10 triples, second best and 38 doubles, 10th overall. He had 303 total bases ranking him eighth all-time.
Yoder was hit by a pitch 46 times, second most in school history and he also appears in the top ten for sacrifice flies and hits. He had 10 sacrifice flies, tying him for fourth place in VMI. history and had 21 sacrifice hits, third best all-time.
In the field, Yoder played shortstop, second base and third base and during his four years he picked up 431 assists, sixth best. He also helped turn 81 double plays, which put him eighth in school history.
Yoder got caught stealing 14 times, tying him for the fourth spot on that list.
As a freshman (2006), he was ranked in the country according to NCAA statistics as being the eighth hardest player to strikeout.
One of Yoder's biggest days of his senior season came on April 10 in a home game against Gardner-Webb. In a 21-3 win, the Belleville native went 5-for-6 with three RBI's and a double and a home run.
After, three straight winning seasons at VMI, Yoder was hopeing to go out with another winning record, but the Keydets faltered at 18-35. The three straight winning seasons were a school record.
However, VMI did win its first game ever in the Big South tournament this spring beating Gardner-Webb in a first round game.