"We started noticing the locks were missing," said Bullard Head baseball coach Tom Donald. "They cut a hole in the fence and got in that way."
The varsity team's C train storage box was nearly emptied. Fresno police believe the theft likely happened Sunday.
The team estimates about $14,000 worth of equipment was taken, including a pitching machine, about $1,200 worth of baseballs, and multiple pieces of lawn equipment used to maintain the field, among other items.
The equipment has taken years for the program to amass through donations, most of which won't be covered by insurance.
"You don't really think of a baseball program having to fundraise for lawnmowers right?" said BHS baseball parent Andy Zavorek. "It's just hard to keep up with a field like that so we have to do a lot of the work."
The snag in the season comes after uncertainty that players would get back to the field at all this school year.
"These kids were dying to get out there and play. So they finally get to take the field," said Zavorek. "We are in it a month and we get broken into and all our baseballs and equipment get stolen. Yeah, it stinks."
But it didn't take long for the baseball community near and far to step up to the plate--including Bullard Baseball alumni from around the country.
Tuesday night, donations on the team's Go Fund Me page totaled over $7,000.
"Wanting to help out kids because that's what it's about," said Coach Donald. "How can you steal something like that for the betterment of kids?"
Up until Tuesday, Cindy Best was a stranger to the team but determined to help. The Oakhurst business owner purchased several cases and buckets of baseballs for the Bullard Knights.
"It just broke my heart that these kids that have been begging to play for so long," she said.
Her donation took the team far.
"Really a godsend to us at this point because we have a game tonight," said Coach Donald. "And we needed baseballs. So that really helped us out."
The generosity had the team in high spirits Tuesday night. Players didn't let the loss of equipment keep them from winning.
The Fresno Police Department is asking for the public's help to track down the suspected thieves. They are asking people to keep an eye out for items sold online that could have been stolen from the Bullard High baseball team.