Bethel High junior righthander Matt Liquori beat New Fairfield 3-1 Friday to improve to 4-0, asserting himself as the ace of a team that sits near the top of the South-West Conference standings despite receiving little preseason hype.
Liquori, who calls his own games, has excellent command of three pitches, particularly a 12-to-6 curveball that he can and will throw in any count. And while it doesn’t always result in very many swings and misses, Liquori can be devastatingly efficient pitching to contact, as the Rebels’ three double-plays — including the game-ender — will attest.
“He’s throwing three pitches at a strike rate of about 70 percent,” said Bethel coach Ray Turek. “When you look at his stuff, it doesn’t scream No. 1. But the consistency is there.”
The Wildcats’ win came at the expense of a New Fairfield team (9-7, 6-5) that’s also in the hunt, and it could determine home-field advantage should the two teams meet again in the SWC tourney — a distinct advantage in what appears to be a deep league.
“Once you get down to fourth place, everyone’s around .500,” said New Fairfield coach Joe Garbowski. “It’s wide open. It’s right there for everybody.”