On March 18, Shippensburg University baseball head coach Matt Jones recorded his 400th career victory as a collegiate baseball coach with the Raiders' 12-3 victory over West Chester University.
“It meant we got our first conference win. In the grand scheme of things, as a coach you don’t get into it for any of that. Those accolades are nice for sure, but I would rather win a conference championship than reach a coaching milestone any day,” Jones said of earning his 400th career win.
Jones, who is in his 10th season with the Raiders, has had an extremely impressive coaching career that includes winning two Atlantic Region titles, a conference title, and making two Division II College World Series appearances. Jones has also led the Raiders to six PSAC Tournament appearances. In Jones’ first nine years at SU, he has led the Raiders to at least 23 wins in eight of those nine seasons. Jones has won 252 games as the head coach of SU as of March 18. He has also won 148 games as the head coach of Elizabethtown University.
“It’s pretty crazy, it doesn’t feel like ten years. I can still remember the day I was hired like yesterday. I’m so fortunate to be at a school like this and a program like this where my predecessors were really good coaches and to be associated with the long term history of the program is definitely an honor,” Jones said.
“I grew up in the area and have known about Shippensburg baseball since I was really young so it's an exciting opportunity and we want to make sure that this team plays as well as it can. Hopefully we have an opportunity to play for a championship at the end of the year,” Jones said.
The Raiders have been playing extremely good baseball as of late, picking up six wins in the last two weeks. The Raiders notched victories against Seton Hill University, two wins against Lock Haven University, a win over Shepherd University and two wins against Mansfield University on Friday April 1. The Raiders are currently 5-5 in the PSAC and are looking to keep picking up wins to earn them a spot in the PSAC Tournament.
“I just expect us to keep fighting and get better every week and play our butts off and if that is good enough to win then it will be. I feel like from a talent standpoint if we play well, we’re going to have a chance to win every time out. If we can sharpen some things out on our end, I have a lot of confidence that this team could play for a long time,” Jones said.
The Raiders will finish up a home-and-home doubleheader against PSAC opponent Mansfield University on April 2 before traveling to Shepherd University on April 5.