Aggies claim season opener, 9-5

It wasn't always pretty, but the Aggies overcame five errors and a couple of base running gaffes to earn the first win of the year, 9-5, over Northern Colorado. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp visits with Coach Rob Childress and shortstop Jose Duran, who made his A&M debut in style with three hits, two RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases.

Going into the season, Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress had a couple of questions on the infield. Who would play shortstop and who would play behind the dish.

On Friday night, both of those positions seemed pretty solid in the Aggies' 9-5 win in front of 5,731 fans (2,182 students), which is the second largest opening day crowd in A&M baseball history. In 2005, 7,669 fans crammed into Olsen Field to watch the Aggies against Washington

Jose Duran made his case with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, with two runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases.

Brian Ruggiano made his case for the starting catcher job with a 3-for-5 night and two RBI of his own.

Kirkland Rivers started strong for the Aggies on the mound, getting ahead of 10 of the first 12 hitters he faced, but found himself in trouble due to a couple of hit batters and poorly timed errors in the infield.

He threw five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He struck out a career-high seven batters while walking none, and finished the night with 94 pitches thrown.

But the Aggies' bullpen was all smiles. Shane Minks, Brooks Raley and Travis Starling combined for four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters.

The trio allowed zero runs, and Starling shut down the Bears in the top of the ninth, striking out the side.

Hear what Childress and Duran had to say after the game.



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