Jackson Curtis already was smiling after being told he set a record with his four doubles during Husson University’s 14-6 victory over SUNY Cobleskill in Friday’s deciding game of the North Atlantic Conference baseball championship at the Winkin Complex in Bangor.
Then he learned who originally set the previous school record of three doubles in a game 59 years earlier — fellow Ellsworth High School alumnus Jack Scott.
“Wow, that’s crazy,” said Curtis, a 2020 Ellsworth graduate and now a first-year designated hitter and first baseman at Husson. “He’s somebody [whose picture] I saw on the wall every day of high school. He’s a legend, and that’s pretty cool.”
Scott is a member of both the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame after a storied athletic career that began at Ellsworth. He scored 1,000 points in basketball while helping the Eagles win back-to-back state titles and compete in the New England championships, and he also starred in baseball and football.
Scott later played baseball and basketball at Husson, and in 1985 he was inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame.
The 18-year-old Curtis can’t match that legacy yet, but he’s building an impressive resume of his own early in his athletic career.
The four-year varsity baseball player helped Ellsworth capture the 2019 Class B baseball championship as a junior before having his senior season canceled due to COVID-19.
Curtis also led Ellsworth to the 2020 Class B North basketball championship game where it fell to Caribou, which went on to win its second straight state title.
A year earlier, Curtis and the Eagles reached the regional semifinals before also falling to Caribou.
The 6-foot-4 Curtis joined Scott and seven other basketball players in Ellsworth’s 1,000-point club as a senior, when he also was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine team and was a semifinalist for the state’s Mr. Basketball Award.
Curtis is concentrating on baseball at Husson and his first season has produced rave reviews, particularly after Friday’s performance against SUNY Cobleskill in the final game of the best-of-three series.
The right-handed slugger went 4-for-5 with four doubles and seven RBIs, the latter number just two short of the school’s single-game record.
Curtis’ outburst began with a three-run double to right-center field with two outs in the bottom of the first inning that gave coach Chris Morris’ club a 4-1 lead.
Husson never trailed again, and now awaits its destination and opponent for Thursday’s opening-round game in what will be the Eagles’ first NCAA appearance since 2011.
“That hit was absolutely huge,” Morris said. “Jackson’s done that his whole life, from basketball all the way up and baseball. When the pressure is at its highest he seems to calm down and play his best. He’s definitely a big-game player and we’re just really lucky to have him on our team.”
Curtis struck out in his second at-bat but followed with two doubles down the left-field line and a third to the opposite field while adding four RBIs to his breakout afternoon.
“I definitely hit a lot better if I get a hit in my first at-bat,” Curtis said. “That’s just been my thing. I ride confidence. That’s something the coaches talk to me a lot about, that I’ve got to have confidence when I go up to the plate.
“Even the second at-bat when I struck out, I just had to keep riding the confidence from the first at-bat and it ended up paying off.”
Curtis finished the NAC championship series batting .462 (6-for-13) with eight RBIs and was named the event’s most valuable player.
“I did a little watching of [SUNY Cobleskill’s] previous games last week and I knew their [Nos.) 1 and 2 starters were really good and that they had a solid third, but I knew we could get into their [bullpen] and once we got into their pen we were fine,” Curtis said.
The big day raised his season batting average from .288 to .321, and he leads the team in doubles (nine) and RBIs (30) while hitting seventh in the batting order.
“I love that kid so much,” Husson junior shortstop Kobe Rogerson said. “He comes in ready to work. He listens to us older guys. He just takes in all the information he can.
“He’s going to be an amazing player for us. He already is.”