a pitched battle
A volatile fight or argument. There was a pitched battle between both political parties before the election.
a pitched battlea fierce fight.
Literally, a pitched battle is one fought on a predetermined ground (the pitch ), as opposed to either a casual skirmish or a running battle (see running).
a ˌpitched ˈbattle
1 a fight that involves a large number of people: There was a pitched battle earlier today between police and demonstrators. Two hundred people were injured, ten seriously.
2 a military battle fought with soldiers arranged in prepared positions