Story Courtesy the Savannah Bananas
SAVANNAH, GA – In front of their 18th sellout crowd, the Savannah Bananas are walk off winners against the Asheboro Copperheards. The 3-2 win allows them to move on to the Coastal Plain League Division Finals. As the number one seed, the Bananas will be hosting the game at historic Grayson Stadium.
Savannah right-hander Beau Sulser (Dartmouth) took the mound for the first game of the CPL Petitt Cup Playoffs.
Sulser came out of the gate with electric stuff, striking out the side in the top of the 1st inning. His lone blemish of the game was in the 2nd inning, allowing two runs on three hits after Connor Lind and Deivy Palmeiro hit back-to-back doubles. The same frame with two outs, catcher Joe Sabatini lofted an RBI single into shallow left field giving the Copperheads an early 2-0 lead.
After Asheboro clumped three hits together in the top of the 2nd inning, Sulser ceased the Copperhead attack to just two knocks over the next 7 innings.
Facing Copperhead left-hander Ivan Palaez, the Bananas were shut out through six frames, stranding eight runners on base. The league’s best offense (.303) could only be held in check for so long though.
In the bottom of 7th still trailing 2-0, facing new Copperhead righty Pete Grasso, the Bananas were able to get the offense rolling. After loading the bases without credit of a hit (hit batter, 2BB) Jameson Hannah chopped a game tying RBI single over top of a leaping Adam Lind at first base. Austin Staley came on to relieve Grasso, and was able to induce an inning ending double play off the bat of pinch hitter Garret Nelson.
When Sulser took the mound in the 9th inning his pitch count was at 98, but he muscled through the frame, dancing around a two walk putting up his seventh straight zero.
With a chance to win their first playoff game in franchise history, Jeff Nellis was hit for the third straight at bat to get the 9th inning started. Clay Dungan laid a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline and Nellis, with some heads up base running, took the extra 90 feet after third base was unoccupied. With the game winning on third, Clint Hardy launched a deep fly ball into right center field for the walk off victory.
In the franchise’s 51st game, the team registers their first walk off in Bananas history. Savannah will face the Forest City Owls this Friday, August 12th at 7:00PM. Over 4,000 fans attended tonight’s game and tickets for Friday’s game are expected to sell out.