From Trevor Gott's dominant pitching to Dorian Hairston's spectacular diving catch to Reid Van Bussum's two-run homer, Tates Creek had plenty of highlights in the 43rd District baseball tournament opener Monday night.
Lexington Catholic, on the other hand, had the lowlights: a shocking eight errors.
The result: No. 9 Tates Creek eliminated the defending state champion and top-rated Knights 8-0 before a big crowd at Lexington Christian Academy.
Gott was the star of the show. The senior right-hander, who has signed with Kentucky, allowed just one hit and struck out 13 in improving his record to 6-0 this season.
"My fastball was really working. They couldn't catch up with it," said Gott, who also had a 13-strikeout victory over No. 3 Louisville Eastern nine days ago.
"But this is going to have to top the Eastern game for sure," he said.
Lexington Catholic Coach Kevin Clary, whose team beat Gott in last year's district playoffs, praised his performance in the rematch.
"He had total command, he challenged hitters, he made quality pitches, and he used both sides of the plate," Clary said. "He was really good."
This was expected to be a low-scoring pitchers' duel between Gott and Knights' ace Taylor Martin.
Martin didn't have much luck, though, and a lot of that had to do with the shaky defense behind him.
Tates Creek got three runs in the third. After Ryan Fucci doubled and Phillip Donovan reached on an error, Gott singled to drive in both of them.
"That hit got us ignited," Coach Dom Fucci said.
Martin was lifted in the fourth after giving up a triple to Dylan Justice. Reliever Colton Cleary got out of that jam, but the fifth inning was a disaster.
Tates Creek's first five batters collected hits, including Van Bussum's homer.
The Commodores pushed across three more runs in the inning, thanks to three more errors, to blow it open.
The only drama was whether Gott would pitch a no-hitter. It lasted until Will Hurt singled with one out in the sixth.
Gott said he wasn't even aware he had a no-hitter going until the home-plate umpire mentioned it to him when he came to bat in the fifth.
"I guess he jinxed me," Gott said with a laugh.
Tates Creek advances to face No. 13 Lafayette in Tuesday night's semifinals.
"This was a well-played game on our part tonight, but we've gotta come right back and do it again tomorrow," Dom Fucci said. "That's what baseball is all about."
His players realize their work is far from done.
"This game is over with, and we're already looking forward to tomorrow," Van Bussum said as the Commodores filed out of their dugout.
For Lexington Catholic, it was an early exit from the playoffs after reaching the state tournament three of the previous four years.
Clary wondered if his players were "too amped up."
"I thought we were loose and ready to play, but obviously we weren't," he said.
"We just didn't catch the baseball, which is very uncharacteristic of us. Our youth and inexperience really showed."
Lexington Catholic 000 000 0 —0 1 8
Tates Creek 003 050 x—8 9 0
Taylor Martin, Colton Cleary (4), Tyler Arthur (5) and Tyler Jackson. Trevor Gott and Austin Broome. W--Gott. L--Martin. 2B--Ryan Fucci (TC). 3B--Dylan Justice (TC). HR--Reid Van Bussum (TC)
Records--Lexington Catholic 28-7; Tates Creek 24-10.