June 30, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Two former Army baseball players, Nick Dignacco and Nick Hill, are playing professionally in the minor leagues for their respective organizations. Dignacco, is a member of the Spokane Indians, the Class “A” Short-Season Affiliate of the Texas Rangers, while Hill is playing with the Double-A Jackson Generals whose parent club is the Seattle Mariners.
Dignacco, who is a 2014 graduate of the United States Military Academy, was assigned to Spokane after being selected in the 40th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The first team All-Patriot League left-hander has settled into a relief role with the Indians and figured into a pair of decisions, both victories, in three appearances to date. Dignacco has thrown 7.0 innings out of the bullpen and boasts a 1.29 ERA with seven strikeouts and two walks surrendered. He has allowed five hits and opponents are hitting .192 against him. His 2-0 record helped Spokane to its best start since 1911 and currently the team holds a 13-3 record and a 3.5 game lead in the Northwest League North standings.
After allowing one run in 2.0 innings of work in his professional debut, Dignacco fired 3.0 scoreless frames to collect his first victory as Spokane downed Boise 6-2. He fanned four hitters and allowed one hit en route to being named the Top Performer of the Game. Dignacco followed that effort up with two more scoreless innings against Everett on June 27 for his second-career win.
Hill was a seventh round choice by the Mariners in 2007 and began his 2014 season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. Hill pitched mainly out of the bullpen in 11 games for Tacoma prior to moving to Jackson where he recently returned from a stint on the disabled list. Hill hasn’t seen game action since June 2, when he picked up a win in 2.1 innings on the mound. The southpaw allowed an unearned run, but was credited with the win in a 9-4 decision over Huntsville. Before going on the DL, Hill pitched in seven games and sports a 5.06 ERA in 10.2 innings with Jackson.
Since 2005, 12 Army baseball players have been chosen in the annual MLB Draft.