There is nobody more excited for the baseball season to really get going than coach Jon Shehan, who serves as head coach of Millersville’s baseball team. Shehan graduated from Millersville in 2006 and has been coaching the baseball team for the last 11 seasons. I had the opportunity to have a chat with him on the morning of February 22nd before the team headed out on the road to play a double header against Clarion. We chatted about the 2019 season, former players, recruitment and social media.
The Marauders have had a recent history of successful seasons on the diamond, and this year looks to continue that trend. Millersville retains a lot of players from last year, however it is different from past seasons. “This team is a little different. We have guys who fought injury and other other circumstances.” The talent is there, but staying healthy is going to be a key to the Marauders’ season. One of the notable players that the Marauders retain for the 2019 season is the 2018 PSAC pitcher of the year, Senior Eli Nabholz. Nabholz had posted a stellar 1.93 ERA and was dominanet against the PSAC East, going 5-1.
“We have something to prove.” Shehan said regarding the 2019 team. “We watched Seton Hill dogpile on the mound at the end of the season last year, and that really sat with us.” Last season, the Marauders came just shy of a championship as they lost to Seton Hill by a score of 5-0. They look to use that experience as fuel for the new season. The team still has the taste of defeat in their mouths, and they now have a chip on their shoulder.
Tim Mayza, who is now a key cog in the Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen, played for Millersville and recently graduated. “That is the goal for both the program and for myself as a coach.” “Seeing Tim’s major league debut is right up there with a lot of important events in my life.” Shehan puts an emphasis on producing professional players, and hit on the draw that that has with recruits. Millersville has had seven players drafted by major league teams, Mayza (Toronto Blue Jays) and Chas McCormick (Houston Astros) being the most recent.
One of the advantages that Millersville has when it comes to recruiting is their location and the high schools that surround them. “The baseball scene in Lancaster is so strong and has a lot of tradition.” Shehan noted that the benefits of recruiting locally include being able to do his homework and go to see these players firsthand. “We love to recruit locally.”
Another one of coach Shehan’s recruiting tools is social media. @coachshehan is his Twitter handle, and if you are a fan of baseball and want some insight to the team, that is the place to go. “I think social media is necessary.” Shehan points out that he wants to communicate the culture that he, the coaching staff and the players have built within the program with recruits to give them an idea of what Millersville baseball is all about. Just recently, he tweeted out a video of the team working in the cages. “I’m also working on SnapChat, but that isn’t going too well.” Shehan jokes.
Millersville’s home opener is a double header that will take place on March 10th at Cooper Park against Goldey Beacom.