Tuesday's showdown between top-10 baseball powers Covington Catholic and Lexington Catholic figured to be a spotlight game on the schedule as both teams prepped for next week's playoffs.
If only there had been a spotlight or two illuminating Lexington Catholic's field.
As it turned out, nothing was decided as No. 6 CovCath and No. 9 Lexington Catholic played to an extra-inning 8-8 tie. The game was called at about 8:45 p.m. because of darkness.
Neither team was pleased with the scoreboard deadlock.
"It's disappointing because this is not what we came here to do," said CovCath senior catcher Luke Maile.
"This isn't why we play teams like Lexington Catholic. We come here to prepare to win a state title. We didn't do that tonight."
Knights senior catcher Michael Schornick had the same reaction.
"We had the momentum coming back, and we definitely should've won it," he said. "It's disappointing."
Lexington Catholic Coach Kevin Clary said, "It's never good to tie because you always play shoulda-coulda-woulda ... if only you'd done something earlier in the game, you wouldn't be in this situation."
Both teams let leads slip away.
Lexington Catholic was on top 5-1 after four innings thanks to key hits by Schornick, John Michael Cowley and Michael Jansen.
CovCath rallied for three runs in the fifth and got four more runs in the sixth to take an 8-5 lead.
Lexington Catholic, which started 10 seniors on senior night, had a comeback of its own in the fading twilight.
After scratching out a run in the sixth on Schornick's third RBI of the game, the Knights tied it in the bottom of the seventh on Casey Messner's two-run single.
Schornick came to the plate with two outs and the winning run at third. He pounded the ball to deep center field, but it was caught.
"He squared up and drilled it," Clary said. "He did all he could do."
Bill Krumpelbeck, who's won more than 750 games in 33 years as CovCath's coach, could remember only two or three ties in his long career.
But he won't remember Tuesday's game fondly.
"We had a big district game with Beechwood (a 5-0 victory on Monday)," he said. "It was very emotional, and I was scared to death we'd come out flat like we did tonight.
"I should've done a better job getting my team ready."
CovCath and Lexington Catholic have both shown they can play with the best.
Both have defeated No. 1 Apollo. CovCath also has a win over No. 2 Lexington Christian, and the Knights have six victories over top-20 teams.
Covington Catholic 010 034 00—8 13 2
Lexington Catholic 400 101 20—8 14 3
Brandon Nutini, Brennan Schlagbaum (7) and Luke Maile. Frank Carter, Devon Williams (5), Taylor Botkin (6), Ben Klinker (6), Kurt Yomascko (8) and Michael Schornick. 2B—Ryan Darner (CC), Brandon Lafever (CC), John Michael Cowley (LC), Schornick (LC).
Records—Covington Catholic 27-3-1; Lexington Catholic 19-7-3