• June 5, 2020

COLLEGE SIGNINGS: Permian pair Sullivan, Bedrick to continue baseball careers at Hardin-Simmons - Odessa American: Sports

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COLLEGE SIGNINGS: Permian pair Sullivan, Bedrick to continue baseball careers at Hardin-Simmons

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Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020 6:37 pm

Permian catcher Taylor Sullivan and infielder Caden Bedrick have played baseball together since they were 9 years old.

They were each hoping to make a special run with the rest of their Panthers teammates during their final high school season.

Unfortunately for both of them, they never got that opportunity. Despite their final high school season being cut short, the baseball journey is not done just yet for Sullivan and Bedrick.

Both athletes committed to continue their baseball careers at Hardin-Simmons University on Thursday in a ceremony at a local restaurant with family, friends and several teammates in attendance to celebrate their achievements.

“It just feels good to know that I have a place after this to go and play ball and more importantly go to school,” Sullivan said. “I have a chance to do that and I know that a lot of other people don’t so I’m just grateful.”

Bedrick shared a similar grateful sentiment, adding that having this moment come together was something that the two had talked about before.

“We’ve talked about how cool it would be to play at the same place playing with each other,” Bedrick said. “Here we are doing it today and it’s just a cool feeling.”

Both players are looking forward for the opportunity to get back out on the field again as Cowboys. They’ll play for longtime head coach Steve Coleman, who coached at Permian from 1993-97. That relationship with Coleman was something that appealed to both athletes.

“Coach Coleman is a great guy,” Bedrick said. “He’s honest with you and he told us what’s going to happen and he was straightforward about it. He gave an honest opinion of what he thought of me and it made me feel comfortable talking to him.”

Both Sullivan and Bedrick have had plenty to process over the last two months. The duo was among the Class of 2020 who participated in a drive-thru graduation ceremony Wednesday at Ratliff Stadium, officially closing their chapter as Panthers.

They’ve also had a chance to reflect on the season getting cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Permian got off to a 13-4 start before the season was first postponed back in March and then canceled in April.

Bedrick had recorded 17 hits — including eight doubles — and drove in eight runs before the season stopped. Sullivan had thrown out 11 base runners trying to steal a base and was the District 2-6A Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.

“This team was going to be really good and we all knew it,” Sullivan said. “We all knew going in that we were going to be able to do something special. When it ended, it was sad but people knew that it was for nothing.”

Bedrick added that he’s gained a greater appreciation for baseball during this time and is eager to get the chance to step out on the field once again.

“Just never take anything for granted,” he said. “Whether it’s in the weight room or just stretching after your workout, always have fun with what you’re doing and never be afraid to compete.”

The duo will get that opportunity to compete on the same field together in college in Abilene. It’s a day that they’ve both looked forward to for years now and is coming to fruition — even if didn’t happen quite the way they had envisioned.

“It’s been a little bit bittersweet,” Sullivan said. “It’s crazy that stuff happened like this, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

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