STRATFORD — Before Stratford played host to Joel Barlow on Monday afternoon at Penders Field, whispers began to make their way through the home crowd behind the plate.
“The one that is going to Stanford?”
The reputation of Joel Barlow junior Matt Scott has been spreading throughout the SWC and state since before he threw a pitch in high school.
Scott had verbally committed to Stanford University to play baseball prior to putting on a Falcons’ jersey his freshman year.
When the 6-foot-6 Scott started throwing in the bullpen before his start on Monday — directly next to the Stratford dugout — Red Devil players lined up on the fence to watch.
The attention doesn’t bother Scott, if he notices it at all.
“I have a routine before every game and leading up to the first pitch,” he said. “Sticking to that really helps me kind of group myself together and just go out there do what I do best.”
Matt Scott (‘22 Conn.) showing a large frame with an easy arm action. Raw operation, will throw hard one day with clean up. FB 84-89/90 with heaviness. CB showing as slurvy with depth that he lands for strikes. 3 k’s & no hits thru 4. #stanford commit. 16uWWBA pic.twitter.com/GrvqHFppn1
— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) July 10, 2020
What he does best is limit hits and runs, get outs and put his team in position to win games.
“Having a guy like Matt, the one thing we always have to make sure is that we don’t take it for granted,” Joel Barlow coach Matt Griffiths said.
As a freshman, he went 5-1 with a 0.50 ERA. He stuck struck out 41 batters in 28 innings, allowed just seven hits and helped the Falcons improve from a two-win team to a nine-win team.
“If there is any kid on the planet that can handle that kind of pressure, it’s Matt Scott,” Griffiths said. “One of the many incredible things about him. He takes it all in stride.
This season, Scott is even better.
He is 3-1 with a 0.29 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 31 innings for Barlow (8-9).
Scott hits 92 miles per hour on his fastball, he throws a slider and a changeup and has been developing a knuckle curve.
“I think I thrive on that pressure,” Scott said. “I like it, it puts a lot more emphasis on every pitch, every at bat. I feel like I perform better under pressure.”
There is always pressure when Scott is on the mound. He is known by almost every opposing player, coach and fan.
With that, occasionally comes smack talk, chirping from opponents and fans.
#Stanford commit Matt Scott (2022, Redding, CT) gets it done. CG 2 hitter w/ 9 strikeouts. Helps The Clubhouse 2021 advance to the Championship game. Scott is ranked #240 nationally for his class and was up to 87 in the 1st and 86 in the 7th @PG_Scouting @PG_Tourney #PGTourney pic.twitter.com/sixh22LXTG
— PG Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, MD) (@PGMidAtlantic) July 22, 2019
Scott said he understands why he hears it from opponents, and it doesn’t bother him.
“They wouldn’t be chirping me if I wasn’t doing something right,” he said. “Usually during the game, I don’t even hear it and after the game (my teammates) ask did you hear what they said?
“No not really, I just zone it out.”
Scott has led the Falcons back to the Class L state tournament and when he is on the mound, Griffiths knows he will have a smooth day coaching.
“He makes my job easy,” he said. “He is everything you want in a player in every way.”