Batter Up, ESPN 104.9 Coaches Show to benefit Saelens Tuesday

Jacob Saelens throws the breaker to turn on the lights of the Love Light Tree.

Jacob Saelens throws the breaker to turn on the lights of the Love Light Tree.

The ESPN 104.9 Tuesday Night Coaches Show returns this week live from Batter Up Sports Grill on Highway 80 West in Demopolis. Returning along with the show is a weekly benevolence effort from Jason Windham and the crew at Batter Up.

Through the course of recent football seasons, Batter Up has donated 10 percent of its weekly Tuesday night proceeds acquired between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to a local organization or athletic team. This week, the Batter Up and ESPN 104.9 team will kickoff the 2015 season by helping to raise funds for Jacob Saelens.

The 2014 Special Child for Christmas on the River, Saelens was born with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means he has only one ventricle (pumping chamber) in his heart.

He has had multiple heart surgeries and had his right leg amputated at seven months old due to a blood clot.

Saelens underwent a heart transplant June 25 following a hospital stay that dated back to early March. He endured another surgery July 3 to tie down his paralyzed diaphragm and allow his right lung to expand.

Saelens shifted out of ICU on July 5 spent several weeks in the cardiac unit before moving to Ronald McDonald House where he maintained close access to the hospital in order to have frequent lab work and heart biopsies.

Saelens had a bout with pneumonia before returning home for good Aug. 10. Due to his compromised immune system, Saelens is largely home bound and will spend at least the first semester of the academic year working from home.

More information on Saelens is available at

Batter Up will donate 10 percent of Tuesday’s proceeds from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. to Saelens’ family to assist with ongoing medical expenses.

The ESPN 104.9 Coaches Show is hosted by Rob Pearson and Jeremy Smith and airs from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.