WEST POINT – Mark McCants knocked in a run and great hustle led to another as Army opened Patriot League play with a 2-0 victory over Lehigh, Saturday at Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field.
Nick Dignacco collected the win and shutout for Army with a complete-game effort. The senior left-hander improved to 4-1 on the season with six strikeouts. He scattered five hits and walked three.
Army improved to 15-7 overall and 1-0 in league play. Lehigh moved to 9-10 overall and 0-1.
The game started well for Army. Jon Crucitti led off the bottom of the first with a booming double. Daniel Cortes grounded out to first to move Crucitti to third and McCants delivered a single to plate Crucitti.
Dignacco battled throughout to preserve that advantage. Lehigh had two runners on in the second before a fielders’ choice and strikeout ended the frame. Connor Smith threw a runner out to end the third inning and a strikeout concluded the fourth inning.
Army added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Jacob Page led off with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Harold Earls. Alex Jensen worked a walk and moved both up on a wild pitch. Crucitti was intentionally walked after two pitches to load the bases. Daniel Cortes hit a ground ball to shortstop and Crucitti hustled to second to beat the throw allowing Page to score.
The Black Knights got out of a jam in the sixth. Lehigh had runners on first and second with two outs before Mescher made a great play on a foul pop to end the inning.
Dignacco closed the game out with a pair of strikeouts in the final inning.