SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With a second Coastal Plain League title pretty much already in hand, up 10-0 in the eighth inning, the Savannah Bananas saved their most electric moment for almost last.
Ty Jackson, the loudest personality on the team and a fan favorite since joining the squad in 2021, smacked a solo home run over the left field wall, bringing all of his teammates bounding out of the dugout to greet him at home plate.
That kind of joy ran from the pregame show all the way to the conclusion of the Bananas’ 11-0 victory over the Wilson Tobs, a win that made the Bananas back-to-back Petitt Cup champions.
“This group grinded all summer,” said manager Tyler Gillum. “We really had an awesome group pitching, hitting, fielding, we led the league in stolen bases. This was a group of guys that never quit. We talked about outlasting (opponents) and we outlasted them to the last day here in the CPL so it’s awesome.”
Savannah got on the board in the first inning thanks to two errant throws to first base by Wilson. The first came on a David Meadows chopper in the infield with a runner on second that got thrown wide of the bag, scoring Brody Wortham. The Bananas got another dose of good fortune when Jackson reached on a two-out bunt off another bad throw, scoring another runner from third.
The pressure stayed ramped up to an 11 on Wilson throughout the game. Armando Becerra’s RBI single in the second made it 3-0, then Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo brought home two more with a single of his own down the third base line in the third inning.
At 5-0, the Bananas had more than enough run support for Dylan Cunningham, who chucked a little over seven scoreless innings in his final start of the season.
Savannah would tack more runs on anyway, though, adding one more in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, and three more in the seventh leading up to Jackson’s momentous slam.
A double play ball in the 9th gave the Bananas the clinching outs and another Petitt Cup.
“We’ve worked all summer for this,” said Bananas player Jared Donalson. “We busted our butt for the guy next to us and it all paid dividends. Seeing it come to real life and actually win a championship, it’s awesome. It’s a great feeling.”
“A lot of people know us from our social media and dancing and entertainment and we do a great job of that, but these guys are really good at baseball too,” Gillum said. “We’ve won the most games in the CPL over the last six years and we’re back-to-back champions. I love these players and this organization. Its been awesome and its all for those guys.”
Savannah has now won three of the last six Coastal Plain League titles, adding this one to their trophy case right next to their wins in 2021 and 2016. (2020 had no Petitt Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Bananas will now transition to a six-game exhibition schedule with games against the Party Animals played under alternate Banana Ball rules. Those exhibition games will be on Aug. 19-20, Aug. 26-27 and Sept. 2-3.