Woodbridge Post 364 thought it faced a difficult situation last weekend when its game Sunday night stretched to 2 a.m. That was merely a minor inconvenience compared with the challenge the team faces this weekend.

Woodbridge must win two 16th District American Legion games this afternoon and another Sunday to reach the state tournament, no easy feat considering Post 364 (20-4) is short on pitching. And the opposition is plenty stiff: Fredericksburg Post 55 (23-2) at noon today at Courtland High School and, with a win, Winchester Post 21 (19-5) at 4 p.m.

If Woodbridge wins both, it would meet Winchester again Sunday at Courtland at a time to be determined. Winchester is the only team without a loss in the double-elimination tournament. Fredericksburg is assured of a state berth because it is the state tournament host.

"We could win it, but it will be very hard [to win three games]," said Woodbridge Coach Greg Margheim, whose team fell behind 10-0 to Winchester on Thursday night in an eventual 16-11 loss. "Fredericksburg and Winchester each have four or five pitchers who can bring it.

"Someone would have to step up unexpectedly for us."

Woodbridge beat Fredericksburg in a game that didn't start until 10:45 p.m. because of earlier rain delays. Left-hander Matt Kleweno went 7 2/3 innings in that game. He is the scheduled starter again today against Post 55.

"We'll have to roll the dice to see who'd pitch the other two games," Margheim said.

Kleweno and Matt Crater each homered Thursday night for Post 364, which shaved the 10-0 lead to 10-7 in the bottom of the third only later to give up runs on errors by different pitchers. Billy Freeman, who had closed the team's previous two wins in the tournament, took the loss.

Woodbridge, which had pulled to within 12-10 against Winchester, loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning but didn't score. Winchester scored four runs in the ninth.

Gar-Field's Baker Gets Nod

Gar-Field graduate Jeff Baker, the 1999 All-Met Player of the Year, earned one of 18 positions on the USA Baseball Junior National Team that will play in the International Baseball Association World Championships in Taiwan.

The infielder/pitcher, a fourth-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians, was one of 42 players invited to the tryouts last week in Tucson.

In the Aug. 6-10 preliminary round, the U.S. team will play Guam, Japan, Panama, Australia and the Czech Republic. Medal round play begins Aug. 12.

After the tournament, Baker will begin classes at Clemson University.

In 1997, Baker played for the inaugural USA Baseball Youth National Team, a 16-and-under squad that finished fifth out of 12 teams at the IBA World Youth Championships in Taiwan.

American Legion Baseball

16th District Tournament

Tuesday

at Courtland H.S.

Fredericksburg 10, Stafford 4

Sterling 16, Loudoun 5

Thursday

at Courtland H.S.

Fredericksburg 6, Sterling 3

Winchester 16, Woodbridge 11

Today

at Courtland H.S.

Fredericksburg (23-2) vs. Woodbridge (20-4), noon

Fredericksburg/Woodbridge vs. Winchester (19-5), 4 p.m.