With high school and college baseball seasons completed, the Industrial and Clark Griffith leagues have an opportunity to showcase some of the better area players.
The Industrial League, which is the higher level of competition -- with players of all ages -- includes seven teams from Maryland and one from Virginia. Fairfax Furniture will play its home games at Robinson High School Wednesdays at 7:30.
Despite having one of its better players, first baseman Kevin Burke of George Mason University, drafted and signed by the Baltimore Orioles, Fairfax Furniture is presently in first place in the league with a 5-1 record.
George Mason's top two pitchers, Dan Atcheson and John Boucher, who led the Patriots to the NCAA playoffs for the first time, again dominate the mound for Fairfax. Boucher (2-0 this summer) was the league's most valuable pitcher last summer.
Marc Cochran, who at one time was in the Houston Astros' organization, has been one of Fairfax's leading hitters. Against Mercury Van Lines June 10, he was four for five, including two home runs.
The Clark Griffith League is limited to players 21 and under, and lures some of the top high school players, although most are college players.
"I would say, and it would be a guess, 75 percent of the athletes in Clark Griffith are college ball players who want to expand their skills in the offseason," said John Baker, the league's assistant director.
"There are a couple who are juniors or seniors in high school, but they are exceptional athletes," he added. "You must be exceptional to participate because your competing against sophomores and juniors in college."
Clark Griffith games are played daily at Pope Paul VI High School. Five teams -- Rangers (5-2), Patriots (5-2), Falls Church Rebels (4-3), Reston (3-4) and Martz (1-7) -- compete in three rounds during the season. The winner of each round goes into the playoffs at the end of the season. The winner of the playoffs goes to the All-America Amateur Baseball Association national tournament in Johnstown, Pa..
Reston, the champion the previous two years, has a balanced lineup that includes catchers Scott Toelle of George Mason and John McNamara (Madison) of North Carolina State. Tory Soave (2-1) of George Washington and Scott Klapot of George Mason have the pitching staff's victories.
The Patriots, however, are on top with the Rangers. "We're doing as good as you can considering how fast we were thrown together (three weeks ago)," said first-year Coach Emmons.
Emmons has used five high school players and several from top college teams. Billy Jersey (Potomac, shortstop), the Commonwealth District's most valuable player, and leading hitter Rodney Emmons (Potomac, right field) blend with David Guy (University of Virginia, center field), Mark and Matt Lepnew (Georgetown) and Rob Stiegele (Brevard College).