[gallery type="slideshow" ids="96320,96318,96317,96316,96314,96313,96312,96311,96310,96309,96308,96306,96305,96304,96303,96302,96301,96299,96298,96296,96297,96295,96294,96292,96291,96287,96285,96290,96289"]\r\n\r\nGRANVILLE \u2014 Already armed with a degree in economics from Princeton University, Ben Gross could already be making money using his right arm punching up numbers on a calculator.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s just not his style, though.\r\n\r\nPitching is his thing. That he proved Friday, allowing just one run over seven innings to lead Duke to an 8-5 victory over Texas A&M in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at Monongalia County Ballpark.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe job done by Ben Gross was tremendous,\u201d Duke coach Chris Pollard said. \u201cThey had two guys on in the first with nobody out and the poise that Ben showed to keep making pitches and to get us off the field without a runner scoring was a key moment to the game.\u201d\r\n\r\nGross, who was a 34th-round pick of the Houston Astros in 2018, got the Blue Devils (32-25) out of the early jam and then only allowed a run in the fourth inning off a double and a deep sacrifice fly to center.\r\n\r\nIn all, the Aggies (37-22-1) didn\u2019t hit Gross hard at all, even though the Duke graduate student was not overpowering with just five strikeouts.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere\u2019s not a lot he hasn\u2019t seen. He\u2019s a graduate transfer who has been their guy,\u201d Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. \u201cHe just battled when his back was against the wall. He made pitches when he had to and he was able to elevate his fastball. He used his secondary pitches to get him out of some innings.\u201d\r\n\r\nGross looked at a number of different options after graduating from Princeton, but his goal was clear:\r\n\r\n\u201cCoach Pollard sent me a text this morning reminding me that games like these was the reason I came here,\u201d Gross said. \u201cPitching in games like this was the reason I came here.\r\n\u201cAt Princeton, you had to win the Ivy League title to have this chance. I wanted to contribute to a team that could get to a regional. I made this decision, because I knew this team would compete. I knew this team would have a chance.\u201d\r\n\r\nDuke advanced to Saturday\u2019s 7 p.m. winner\u2019s bracket semifinals to face the winner of the West Virginia\/Fordham matchup, while Texas A&M will face the loser in an elimination game at 2 p.m.\r\n\r\nDuke got the bulk of its offense from a three-run home run from Erikson Nichols in the fourth and then pinch-hitter Rudy Maxwell added another three-run home run in the eighth that proved useful.\r\n\r\nTrailing, 8-1, and with Gross out of the game and in the dugout, the Aggies scored four runs in the ninth off two wild pitches and RBI singles from Zach DeLoach and Ty Coleman.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy thinking was thank goodness for Rudy Maxwell\u2019s three-run homer in the eighth,\u201d Pollard said. \u201cWe needed it.\u201d\r\n\r\nNichols finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Kyle Gallagher also added three hits for Duke.\r\n\r\nMatt Dockman came on in relief in the ninth to record the final two outs to record his first save of the season.