Panther baseball will kick off the spring season on Saturday at the new Everett Field at Panther Stadium, 211 N. Border St. in Benton. 

The gates open at 11 a.m. 

The game is put on by the Benton RBI Club. 

"It is a volunteer organization that is the fundraising arm for the Benton High School baseball team," said Club President Justin Sellers, adding that all Benton sports have a similar club of parent volunteers. 

He said the club's purpose is to ensure the players have what they need. The group feeds them before games and buys equipment as needed. 

The game will be a scrimmage with the players divided into teams. 

It is sponsored by First Security Bank and Everett. 

Admission is $5. For an additional $5, fans can purchase a hamburger or hot dog meal made by First Security. 

Baggo will be set up for people to play. 

Around 11:15 a.m., the club will offer tours of the new baseball facility. Sellers said it will be a chance to see the dugouts, dressing rooms, field and more. He added the new field is 100 percent turf so the team doesn't have to worry about mud. 

At 12:15 p.m., the 41 players will be divided into four teams for a hit-a-thon. Each team will take turns. Each player will get eight pitches. The farthest ball hit will be that players hit of record. 

Currently players are collecting pledges. Supporters will pledge a dollar amount per foot. Sellers used the example of someone pledging $1 a foot. If that player hits the ball 200 feet, the supporter will pay $200. 

Anyone interested in making a pledge can contact Sellers at 501-303-8645.

The teams will be competing against each other for longest hit and most hit. 

"It is just a lot of fun," Sellers said. 

For a $100 donation, alumni can join the hit-a-thon and get 6 pitches. 

All pitches will come from the coaches. 

After the hit-a-thon, there will be two one-hour scrimmages to allow the players to show off all the work they have put into practice. 

"These kids work hard," Sellers said. "They enjoy what they do. It is important to support these kids."

Along with the meals from First Security, there will be a partial concessions stand open selling drinks and candy. 

Along with giving supporters a chance to see the players, this game will give new players a chance to play with the older players before they start regular season games. 

Sellers praised the coaches for what he called the outstanding job they do. 

The new field is next to the football stadium. Sellers said only the north parking lot and gate will be used. The club doesn't want anyone parking in the south lot. 

Sellers encourages the community to attend the game and cheer on the players. 

"It would mean a lot to the kids to look up and see folks supporting them," he said. 

The team will play its first regular season game against North Little Rock at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Everett Field. 

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