Bananas Walk Off in 9th, RedWolves Lose Fourth Straight

Updated June 22 2017

Zach Jacobs hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning for the Florence RedWolves, but the Savannah Bananas came back in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs with two outs on a base hit from Garrett Nelson to defeat the RedWolves, 5-4 Thursday night at Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia.

Matt Beaird and Zach Jacobs combine for a collective 5-for-8 night with a home run, double, two runs scored, RBI and a hit by pitch. The Florence RedWolves (13-5) dropped their fourth straight contest with the 5-4 loss to the Savannah Banana’s (9-11).

In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a 2-2 count, Garrett Nelson hit a walk off, two-run single to left field to lift Savannah over Florence 5-4. Max McDougald singled and Christian Hollie reached on an error to open the inning. With two outs, Anthony Brocato drew a walk to load the bases. Nelson stepped in and fought off a cut-fastball for the walk off hit down the left field line.

Zach Jacobs provided the go-ahead shot in the bottom of the ninth hitting his fifth home run of the season over the monster wall in right field. The solo blast put Florence on top 4-3 going into the final half inning.

Florence opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as the RedWolves collected two runs on four hits. Matt Beaird led off the inning on a standup double to left-centerfield. Jim Wagner followed, shooting a base hit to centerfield putting the runners on the corners. Bailey Connell stood in the box and hit a one-hopper off the wall in left-center driving in both Beaird and Wagner to give Florence a 2-0 advantage.

Savannah responded scoring a run in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI double from Utah Jones. With two outs, Bryce Fischer singled and was driven in on a Utah Jones double to left pulling the Bananas within a run.

Savannah took the lead from the RedWolves in the bottom of the third inning, scoring two runs on a two-RBI double from Brandon Purcell. Max McDougald led off on a base hit and was moved to third on a one-out double to left from Matt Pita. Brandon Purcell then stepped in and hit the two-run single to left giving Savannah a 3-2 lead.

The RedWolves tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. Tanner Mann-Fix doubled to left to leadoff. With one out, Tyler Webb beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. Masen Hibbeler then hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Mann-Fix from third, tying the game 3-3.

Both pitching staffs provided support of the starting pitchers. Florence’s Tripper Ergle relieved TJ Clark with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Ergle came out of the bullpen and threw 2.2 innings of shutout ball, relenting just two hits, walked one and struck out three. Trent Driver made his RedWolves debut going two innings and struck out one. John Michael Stephens worked just an inning and relented a run on a hit and recorded two strikeouts. Jack Henry Beasley (0-1) suffered his first loss and blown save giving up a run on one hit and a walk.

Savannah’s starter Bryan Cruse gave up three runs on 10 hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 6.0 frames of work. Austin Covers (1-0) entered in the ninth and faced two batters, giving up the home run to Jacobs and recorded the win.

The Florence RedWolves will be back at home on Friday, June 23rd to face the Wilmington Sharks. It will be RedWolves Baseball Camp Night and the Pepsi Game of the Week. Join us for Lil D’s American Dugout Barbeque Friday and Fill the Kayak Friday presented by River Rats Kayak and Canoe Rentals. Help feed our community by bringing four or more canned goods per person and receive a voucher for a free ticket to a RedWolves game benefiting the Harvest Hope Food bank. Visit for tickets and information.

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The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 22nd season in 2018, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 111 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball..


Audie Wise