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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MADISONVILLE, La. -- The bats are out and the gloves are on. The Madisonville Thunder recreational team is ready to take on the 12-year-old all-star baseball world and the opportunity to do that, at a large-scale tournament in Disney world next month, is at their cleats.

'ESPN Wide World of Sports throws it, so you've got teams from Puerto Rico, different countries, and all over the United States,' said Coach Joby Cauble.

Logan Hakenjos said, 'We're looking forward to the rides and having fun playing baseball out there.'

The problem is the chance is costly.

But the boys, and their parents, have used raffles and other methods to make a dent in the thousands needed.

'We've had several fundraisers at Sam's where they boys stood outside and shook a can for donations,' said team mom Malinda Schexnayder. 'That was the biggest part of our fundraiser and the money we earned was about $3,000 through that.'

While the team is working hard to get ready for Orlando, they're hoping the community steps up to the plate even more to help them get there.

Schexnayder said, 'I've seen many people post on Facebook the GoFundMe and I thought we would try it out just to see where we got. So far, we've gotten $140 but we need a lot more.'

Both the kids and coaches are hoping the trip, if they can take it, will make them better players and give them lasting memories.

'So we can experience the challenge and the heart that it takes to win a big tournament,' said Hakenjos.

The group is trying to raise $2,000 in the next month.

If you'd like to help, you can do so at the team's online account: http://www.gofundme.com/a7pklo

There's also a fundraiser baseball tournament, the Back to School Classic, scheduled next weekend, August 2 and 3 at Coquille Park in Madisonville. It's $200 a team.

To sign up, contact Jobyc@coquillerecreation.com or 985-966-1999.

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