Led by host team Arlington Post 139, the eight-team American Legion Virginia state baseball tournament is scheduled to begin this afternoon, July 26 in Arlington, with games at Barcroft Park’s Tucker field and Wakefield High School.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3:45 p.m. at Tucker Field.
That ceremony will be followed by a 4 p.m. first-round game between Fairfax Post 177 and defending state champion Chesapeake Post 280 in the double-elimination event.
Also at 4 p.m. at Wakefield, 2021 state-tournament runner-up Colonial Heights Post 284 plays Leesburg Post 34 in opening-round action.
In first-round 7 p.m. games, host Post 139 (16-7) and McLean Post 270 (6-17) play at 7 p.m. at Tucker Field and local District 17 tournament champion Vienna Post 180 (19-5) takes on Stafford Post 290 at Wakefield.
Those eight teams all are scheduled to play again on July 27 at the two fields. The tournament continues through Friday, July 29, with the championship game scheduled for 4 p.m. at Tucker Field, with a deciding playback game, if needed, to follow at the same site at 7 p.m.
The winner advances to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament Aug. 2-7 in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Virginia state tournament has not been held in the Arlington or Fairfax County jurisdiction since the early 1990s, when games were played at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax.
Host Post 139 finished third in last season’s state tournament, after winning the District 17 tourney. This summer, Arlington finished second to Vienna in that district tournament.
Vienna won the state tournaments in 2018 and 2019. There was no state tournament in 2020 because of the pandemic. Last summer, Vienna lost to Winchester in a state-tournament play-in game.
This year’s state tournament was supposed to be played in Spotsylvania County and hosted by Spotsylvania Post 320. That team did not have enough players to field a team this season, so the state tournament was moved to Arlington.
Fairfax and McLean also are from District 17. They made the state-tournament field of eight because there were not enough teams from the usual spots in Virginia to compete for a spot in the competition this summer, and at least one other team dropped out after qualifying.