2022 Savannah Bananas vs Wilson Tobs

Bananas Defeat Tobs To Win Second Consecutive Petitt Cup

Bananas Defeat Tobs To Win Second Consecutive Petitt Cup

The Savannah Bananas used great pitching, solid offense and aggressive running to sweep to win a second straight CPL Petitt Cup, the third in team history.

Aug 6, 2022 by Stephen Kerr
Bananas Defeat Tobs To Win Second Consecutive Petitt Cup

When the Savannah Bananas captured the 2021 CPL Petitt Cup, it took six games to earn it. 

The Divisional Series against the High Point-Thomasville HiToms and the Championship Series against Morehead City each went to a third game before the Bananas prevailed.

The 2022 postseason had no such drama. 

The Bananas combined great pitching, a lot of offense and aggressive running on the basepaths to sweep both playoff series, winning their second straight Petitt Cup and third in team history.

After eliminating the Macon Bacon 8-3 and 8-2 in the West Divisional Series, Savannah took down the Wilson Tobs in much the same fashion in the Championship Series. 

Game 1 took place in Wilson, but the Bananas prevailed 8-3 and sent the Tobs fans home from their final home game of the season disappointed.

A two-run Taylor Justus single put Savannah on the board first in the top of the second inning, but the Tobs gave their home crowd something to cheer about by tying the game at 2-2 in the bottom half of the same inning.

The fourth inning proved to be disastrous for the Tobs, as starting pitcher Alex Bouchard walked Justus, hit Brody Wortham with a pitch, then gave up a two-run double to Armando Becerra for a 4-2 advantage.

Wilson put a run across in its half of the fourth inning on three singles, but that was as close as the Tobs would get the rest of the series. The Bananas added a run in the seventh on a two-out single, stolen base and a double, then added three more in the ninth to put the game out of reach.

The series shifted to Grayson Stadium in Savannah for Game 2 and an if-necessary Game 3. 

The defending champs quickly put any talk of a three-game series to rest with an 11-0 rout that closely resembled their 13-3 thrashing of Morehead City in the deciding game of last year's Championship Series.

Savannah got the offensive explosion going in the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff double by Wortham on the first pitch, along with an infield single by Ty Jackson.

In the second, a Becerra double increased the lead to 3-0, and the rout was on. Savannah added eight more runs in the remaining frames to sweep the best-of-three series and keep the Petitt Cup in Savannah for another year.

The Tobs' biggest threat came in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs but were unable to push any runs across against Bananas starter Jared Donalson, who was dazzling in seven innings of work. Savannah coach Tyler Gillum emptied his bullpen to give his relief pitchers their moment to bask in championship glory.

The Bananas may be the most entertaining and fan-friendly team in organized baseball, but they have become more than just a catchy gate attraction that has sold out Grayson Stadium over the last 200 games. 

For the past five seasons, Gillum has put a fundamentally sound team on the field that isn't afraid to take risks. 

In a three-run seventh inning that increased their lead to 10-0 in game two, the Bananas stole three bases, swiping a total of 18 during the two games. Even when the Tobs tried to mount some momentum, great pitching and solid defense took away any hope of a miracle.

The Bananas concluded the 2022 regular season with a 34-14 record, winning the West Division in both halves of the season. Donalson finished tied for first in the league with six wins, and eighth in strikeouts with 46. His 2.46 ERA ranked second, and he allowed 34 hits, while walking just 13 in 40.1 innings.

Centerfielder Armando Becerra was the offensive star of the Championship Series, with six RBIs. The Erskine College outfielder, who hit .304 during the regular season, made some great defensive plays in center during the postseason.

The Tobs remain without a Petitt Cup since coming into the reestablished league. Their season may have ended in disappointment, but they grabbed the final playoff spot in the East with days to spare in the regular season and took down the favored Morehead City Marlins in the Divisional Series. 

An offense that led the league with 53 home runs was simply no match for a Bananas pitching staff that posted its sixth shutout of the season to clinch the championship.