Cole Johnson pitched a complete game and Golden Tate clinched it with a spectacular catch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as Notre Dame defeated host Pittsburgh 5-4 on Friday evening.
Notre Dame improves to 15-8 overall and 2-2 in the Big East while the Panthers fall to 13-7 and 2-2 in the league.
Johnson scattered seven hits and allowed just two earned runs while striking out four and walking just two in the first complete game of his career.
Pittsburgh starter Nate Reed allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings and was tagged with the loss. Morgan Kielty led the Panthers with three hits and two RBI, but no other Pittsburgh player had multiple hits.
Pollock led off the sixth with a double and scored on a Barnes single. Barnes came home on a double-play to give the Irish a 4-2 lead before David Mills singled home Mick Doyle to give Notre Dame a three-run lead in the seventh.
The Panthers clawed back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh after two Notre Dame errors. Pitt trailed by one entering the bottom of the ninth and after Johnson got the first two Pittsburgh hitters out, Joe Leonard hit a deep fly ball to left that looked like it had a chance to tie the game before Tate leapt up to snag it.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh resume the series with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday.