The Duxbury HS baseball team came within a game of qualifying for the MIAA post-season baseball tournament. But in the end the problem that had plagued them all year long came back to haunt them once again.
Backed by the pitching of their ace Sam Jacobson, the Dragons stayed close for seven innings, but couldn’t figure a way to get to Hingham’s No. 1 starter Rob Madden, who shutout Duxbury 2-0 last Wednesday afternoon in Hingham. Jacobson had been superb all season for the Dragons, but in too many instances his teammates couldn’t generate enough offense to take advantage of his efforts.
After a superb pitching performance by junior Jim Marcello in an upset of No. 10-ranked Marshfield last Monday, Coach Gordon Cushing was thrilled that he could put Jacobson on the mound in such a crucial game.
The Dragons had stellar opportunities to score in the first two innings, both times getting runners on first and third with one out, but failing to score. The blown chances allowed the Harbormen to grab the lead in the bottom of the second inning with a single, a passed ball, and an RBI single by Hingham’s Austin Irvin for a 1-0 lead.
Madden would retire six Dragons in a row before walking a batter, who eventually was picked off first base to end the inning and a possible rally.
In the bottom of the fourth Irvin was at it again, as he doubled in a runner from first for what proved to be an insurance run and a 2-0 lead.
Duxbury did manage to get a pair of runners on base in the top of the fifth, but some poor base running decisions took them out of the inning and the ball game, as Madden proceeded to mow down the next six Dragon batters for the shutout win.
“The problem all year is we just had to score more,” said Cushing. “We just haven’t given Sam a lot of support. He’s lost three games where we score one run or nothing. We knew it was going to be tough going against Madden, but we felt Sam would keep us in the game. More timely hitting and not committing some mistakes would have helped us. You can’t give a team like Hingham any help. You have to play clean. But I’m still proud of how they battled back. We had some personnel problems this year and the kids could have given up and they didn’t. They battled back from 2-5 and gave themselves a shot on the last day of the season. We appreciate what the seniors did for us this year and our future looks bright.”