Associated Press

Duke Beats Texas A&M in NCAA Tournament Opener

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.

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

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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