Notre Dame starter Cole Johnson did all he could, but it was not enough as the Irish lost at Cincinnati 5-4 in 11 innings in the opening game of the Big East series on Thursday night.
Notre Dame falls to 19-11 overall and its conference record evens up at 5-5. The Bearcats improve to 15-14 overall and 4-6 in the Big East.
Johnson went 9.2 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing just two runs. It was Johnson's third straight start of at least nine innings and the first time an Irish pitcher has gone over nine since 2000, when Aaron Heilman pitched 10 innings against West Virginia.
Johnson was lifted with runners on first and third and two outs in the 10th with the score tied 2-2. David Mills struck out the only batter he faced in the 10th to prolong the game.
Notre Dame scored twice in the top of the 11th on an RBI single from Billy Boockford and a sacrifice fly from Cameron McConnell.
The Irish brought on Jeremy Barnes to start the bottom of the 11th, but four of the first five batters that he faced reached base, including three walks. The third walk plated the Bearcats' third run of the game and Barnes was replaced by Will Hudgins.
Hudgins almost ended the game when he got a ground ball to short, but Cincinnati centerfielder Jamel Scott beat out a possible double-play at first base, allowing the tying run to come home. The next batter, Cameron Satterwhite, plated the winning run with a single to center.
The series resumes on Friday night with a 6:30 game before wrapping up on Saturday.