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Return to Glory
Mustangs look for region success, return to winning ways

By Zack Huffman

zhuffman@news-daily.com

The original plan was for the Jonesboro Cardinals to visit Morrow for a clash on the baseball diamond Tuesday. Thanks to an over-saturated field, even with the sun shining brightly, the Mustangs were forced to cancel their fifth game in a row due to inclement weather.

Now with almost a week's rest, the Mustangs face a pivotal game this evening against region rival Westlake.

"It will be the first in a long time that we have had a shot to win three region games in a row," said coach Berreath Dukes. "Last year the only region games we won were against Tri-Cities."

Last season was one full of struggle for Morrow, as the Mustangs sputtered to a 5-12 finish, including just two region wins against the Tri-Cities Bulldogs. Although the Mustangs also scored wins against Lovejoy, Riverdale and Mt. Zion none counted towards the region total.

The season before, the Mustangs opened 3-1 before losing all but one of the games that followed for a 4-22 season total.

This season, Morrow is hoping to get back on track, opening with a 3-2 record, 2-0 in the region.

Although, the season is still in its early stages, the solid start goes a long way for a squad that had gotten used to dissappointment.

If the Mustangs can triumph over Westlake, not only will Morrow remain among the top of 4-AAAAA they will also avenge a 48-6 loss taken earlier in the school against on the football field.

"The seniors kind of have it out for them," said Dukes. "They put it on us pretty good during football."

According to Dukes, there are enough players on the team who also competed on the football team who hunger for the retribution they have the potential to taste against Westlake.

The first senior to get a crack at Westlake will be pitcher Fred Hall, who also served as the football team's starting quarterback.

"It's very important," said Hall. "It's my senior year and I'm trying to win as many games as I can. We're off to a good start."

Dukes hopes Hall can continue the positive trend that has been taking place this season.

The game against Westlake will kickoff a three-game series with region opponents as Morrow plays Creekside on Thursday, followed by East Coweta on Friday.

Dukes expects to face an athletic team in the Westlake Lions.

"They've got a lot of two and three-sport athletes," he said. "We're not going to surprise them with anything. Who ever makes the least mistakes will win that game.

A win against Westlake could go a long way in terms of momentum just when they need it most to make a solid impact within the region.

Dukes feels good about his squad's chances to compete.

"Talent-wise, I don't think we're overmatched by anybody significantly. I'm very confident," he said. "It's the mental aspect we have to work on."

So long as Morrow continues to fight for success, Dukes is happy about what the future may hold on the baseball diamond at Morrow High School.

"Before, it was we hope we don't lose really bad to the good teams. Now we want to win every game," he said. "We have a different mental focus. We want to win."