T.C. Ottens

Morrison’s T.C. Ottens (center) swings at a pitch during an 11-3 loss to Erie-Prophetstown at NelsonCorp Field April 30 in Clinton.

CLINTON — Despite an 0-4 start to the season, the Morrison baseball team has a postseason to look forward.

The Mustangs are using that as motivation.

“Unlike every other sport this year, we actually have something to play for,” Morrison senior Nate Helms said. “It’s a long season, so we’re just going to take it day-by-day and get better.”

The Mustangs fell 11-3 to Erie-Prophetstown Friday night at NelsonCorp Field in Clinton.

Morrison opened the season with a loss to Bureau Valley and back-to-back losses to Fulton, but Morrison coach Josh Robbins said his team is working to improve.

“We’ve been struggling a little with getting our bats going,” Robbins said. “Today, I saw better at-bats from our team than what we’ve been seeing. Defensively, we made some good plays. We still have a little work to do, but overall, I think we’re making some improvements, getting to where we need to be.

“Hopefully as the season continues and progresses, things will start to come together for us. When it comes time for the playoffs, hopefully we’ll be able to make a run.”

Robbins is looking for Helms, who was also the starting quarterback for the football team, to be a leader.

“We have a good group of seniors,” Robbins said. “No. 10, Nate Helms, is one of our senior leaders, starting pitcher, infield, outfield — he’s willing to do whatever we need him to do.”

The Mustangs No. 2 pitcher is freshman Brenden Martin, who is also a utility player in the field.

“We’ve definitely got depth on the mound — we’ve just got to get consistent,” Helms said. “If we can get consistent, we could be pretty tough on the mound.”

Catcher Mason Dykstra said the team is taking things one at-bat at a time.

“We’re just making sure we’re making solid contact , trying to get the best at-bats we can get — working pitch counts and not being too aggressive, but not being too passive and really seeing the ball in our at-bats,” Dykstra said.

Robbins also praised Dykstra as a team leader.

“Good baseball mind,” Robbins said. “We need him to be helping the team out, getting them where they need to be and paying attention.”

Even though this is Dykstra’s last season on the team, he wants to have an impact that lasts several seasons on.

“A lot of young kids coming in,” Dykstra said. “We’re getting them ready for the coming years. We’ve got even younger kids coming in that are pretty promising, so we’re just trying to build the foundation and hopefully have a strong next few seasons.’

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