Ben’s Ford upgrading baseball field

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ben’s Ford Christian School’s baseball field will have two new additions this season.

The team is adding a press box and lights.

“We’re upgrading our athletics and we are upgrading the baseball field,” Ben’s Ford Christian School founder and pastor Lynn Martin said Wednesday morning. “We are in the process of building a press box and putting poles and lights up. We’ve done our dugouts, we’ve done our batting cages, so this year, we’re putting the final touches on some of it. We’re putting up the poles and we’ll be playing under the lights in a few weeks.”

Martin said he expects he expects to be playing night games in about three weeks — and possibly sooner.

“It’s real exciting,” Martin said. “The parents, when you play in the afternoon, most of them work or they have to drive a good ways and they can’t come, so we really want to do this for the parents and kids. The kids are getting more support and the parents get to see them. We just feel like for the coaches and the kids and parents and the school, that we are going to be doing a great asset.”

Besides fewer fans with people working, day games also meant the student-athletes had to take off early from class for home games and the visiting teams had to leave early to get to the game.

“It’s just like if we go off somewhere and have to play around Jackson or McComb (both are in Mississippi) or somewhere and we have to play an afternoon game, we have to miss some school. This is going to help us with that and help the other schools as well,” Martin said.

Martin said it’s expensive to do all of this, but added that they’ve been blessed with some donated work, merchants have sold them items at cost and the players have been very involved in raising money.

“They’re having a hit-a-thon where you pledge money for their hits and their home runs,” he said. “On April 16, we’re going to have a chicken dinner sale. It’s going to be served over at Ben’s Ford Baptist Church on Highway 439. The kids will be selling tickets and anybody that can help is going to get in.”

“We’ve got an alumni club started, so they’re helping us, so we’re just real thankful. We’ve had donations given. We’ve had people say, ‘Look, y’all are working on your baseball field, we want to help you.’ It’s just all been a real blessing to watch the kids work, parents get involved, friends get involved and so we’re just coming right on with it.”

Ben’s Ford baseball coach Tommy Pittman said he is excited about the new additions .at the school’s field.

“The field and stuff has kind of been a work in progress,” Pittman said. “Every year, we’ve tried to upgrade and add to it. This is something we’ve been putting back for a while for and we’ve just been blessed. Folks have donated help. We’re just excited.

“We’re excited to be able to move our games back to later in the day, so we can get a better crowd. It’s just right now without light, we have to play so early that a lot parents have to take off work. It’s going to be a blessing all of the way around. It’s improvement and hopefully we can continue to do that as the years go on.”

Pittman said with the press box, they’ll be able to use the P.A. system every game and not have to drag the equipment out. Prior to the press box, they were only able to use a P.A. system when the weather was good.

The press box also allows scorebook keepers the ability to stay dry when it rains.

As of Thursday afternoon, the press box was nearly complete, except for a light and some electrical equipment. Ben’s Ford used it for the first time Thursday when the Eagles hosted Amite School Center in an afternoon game.