Notre Dame got behind early and couldn't find the offensive firepower to mount a comeback in losing to the Panthers 4-2 on Friday. The Irish fall to 12-13 on the season and 1-3 in the Big East. Notre Dame can get even tomorrow when they battle Pittsburgh (10-12) again. First pitch is scheduled for 3 PM on Saturday. Junior left-hander Wade Korpi (1-3) is set to take the mound for the Irish.
Pittsburgh quickly took a 1-0 first inning lead off of Notre Dame's David Phelps. Sean Conley lined a leadoff double to left field and later scored on a RBI groundout. In the fifth, the Panthers created some comfort for themselves by plating three more runs to take a 4-0 advantage. Phelps (4-2) took the loss, lasting 6.2 innings while allowing four runs on eight hits. Three of those were earned. Phelps struck out three and walked two.
The Irish tried to get back into the contest in the sixth. Brayden Ashdown led off the frame with a single. Brett Lilley walked to put two Notre Dame runners on base with no outs. A.J. Pollock then reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Pollock went 2-for-3 on the night and had half of the team's hits. Mike Dury struck out looking for the first out but Eddy Mendiola doubled to score Ashdown and Lilley. On the play, though, Pollock was called out at second. Danny Dressman flied out to center field to end the inning but Notre Dame had cut the deficit to 4-2.
That's all the Irish would get offensively. Pittsburgh's Rob Brant (2-3) got the win, going 7.1 innings. Brant allowed two runs on three hits and struck out six. Kyle Landis relieved him and pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the save. Notre Dame did have two runners on with one out in the eighth but Dury struck out again and Mendiola popped up to finish off the Irish's best chance at a comeback win.
***The Notre Dame Sports Information Department contributed to this report.