Duke beats Texas A&M 8-5 in NCAA tournament opener

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Erikson Nichols and Rudy Maxwell each hit three-run homers Friday and Duke held on to beat Texas A&M 8-5 in the opening game of the NCAA Morgantown regional.

Third-seeded Duke (32-25) is looking to reach the super regionals for the second straight year after capturing the regional last year in Athens, Georgia.

Duke starter Ben Gross (7-4) allowed one run and scattered four hits over seven innings. Second-seeded Texas A&M (37-22-1) scored four times in the ninth, but Ty Condel grounded out with two runners on base to end it.

Six of Duke’s 11 hits went for extra bases. Nichols and Kyle Gallagher each had three hits.

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Nichols homered during a four-run fourth inning off Texas A&M starter John Doxakis (7-4).

Duke added four runs in the eighth. Michael Rothenberg doubled and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Bryce Miller. Maxwell, a freshman, then hit a pinch-hit homer off Joseph Menefee.

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