“I am very excited that I have the opportunity to play college baseball,” Bishop said. “I chose Southern Union because it’s a small school and I didn’t want to become lost in a big school. College for me isn’t all about baseball. I want to go and get my education and play baseball on the side. I’m proud of my determination to work hard despite our losing season this year.”
The outfielder/pitcher believes the work that he did with coaches on his high school team and the work he put in with the Excel baseball program in Oxford made this opportunity possible.
“Coach (Joe) Jordan contacted me one morning and asked me to come down for a clinic,” Bishop said. “I did pretty well and that’s when he offered me a spot on his team. If it weren’t for my coach and my parents I don’t think that I would be where I am today. I most definitely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the guys at Excel. They helped me with mechanics on the field and my attitude off the field.”
Talladega head coach John Hill believes this is a great accomplishment and opportunity for Bishop.
“Matt Bishop is the first player that we have had sign in the school year in probably four or five years,” Hill said. “They had a player to sign with Talladega College and he is still playing there now. In the last several years, we haven’t had one to sign during the school year, but last year we had one to sign late in the summer. It is a big deal right now, because it is big for the program for the players to sign with a college to show the other players that they have a chance to go to college to play baseball if they apply themselves and work hard. Bishop is a hard worker.”
Bishop was one of the lone bright spots on Talladega’s baseball team this season. He led the team in batting average, and he was also in the top 10 in the state in homeruns with six.
“He has done everything that we have asked of him,” Hill said. “He has matured a lot. He has become a strength during the game as far as supporting his teammates. That has been a big difference maker for him. He finished the season with a batting average of .475. He had six home runs, 31 hits on the season. He finished his last game off the mound. He threw a no-hitter against Winterboro. It was nice to go out with a win and a special game at the same time. He has come through several times at the plate in the clutch. He finally got it through his head, when I go up to the plate let everything go and hit. That’s what he did this year and it really paid off for him. He did a lot of that in the field. He made a few mistakes in the field, but not many. Overall, he is an outstanding player and I am proud of him. He is going to go on and play in college. I believe going to Southern Union for him, being an excellent program, a very hard working program, that they are going to continue this trend for him of getting in better shape, stronger, faster and making him into a better, well-rounded player. Give him a chance to go play at a four-year school afterwards and who knows beyond that. He has the talent and potential. He just needs the place to set him in the right direction and I believe Southern Union is that place.”