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5th REGION BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Cards, Eagles begin play Monday v. 17th District foes

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NC v. E'town; Bethlehem v. CH

By Peter W. Zubaty, Sports Editor

Local teams found out their postseason opponents Thursday night with the drawing for the 5th Region baseball tournament, which starts Monday at Central Hardin.

Injury-riddled Nelson County (18-14) — a surprise region finalist last season — gets things started at 11 a.m., opening the tournament against 17th District champion Elizabethtown (25-7). The Panthers beat the Cardinals in their lone meeting this season, a 4-3 decision in eight innings, and had to survive extra innings Thursday against four-time defending region champs Central Hardin to win the district.

Green County (16-14), the 18th District champ, takes on Campbellsville (17-17) at 1:30 p.m.

Bethlehem (22-12) gets a shot at the team that ended their postseason run last season at 4 p.m. against Central Hardin (21-13). The teams have not met since then.

The Eagles are rolling into the tournament confident, with a deadly trio of senior starters all capable of taking the ball in a big game.

“Any one of the three of us can go out there and somebody will say, ‘Oh, is that their ace?’” said Alan Webb, who shut out Nelson County to win the 19th district crown. “It just helps to have three healthy arms that can go back-to-back-to-back. People don’t expect it as much.”

Rounding out Monday’s quarterfinals is 20th District champ Adair County (18-15) against Hart County (10-18) at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s semifinals are at 5:30 and 8 p.m., and Wednesday’s championship is at 6:30 p.m.