WILMINGTON, NC- The Sharks welcomed the famed Savannah Bananas to their home field on Saturday night. This was a highly anticipated evening in Wilmington as a sold-out crowd awaited the matchup. Wilmington locals and vacationers packed the Shark Tank to see the Bananas play on Buck Hardee Field for the first time in several years. In addition to the main event, fans also enjoyed a live performance from the local School of Rock, giveaways, on-field games, and booths from local organizations that created an ideal summer evening in the beach town.
Savannah has had a successful start to their season, leading the West Division with fourteen wins and only four losses thus far. The Sharks are looking to come off their four-game losing streak but fell short against the strong Banana offense.
Savannah took an early lead, putting eight runs on the board before the Sharks managed to cross home plate. Nick Roselli (Binghamton University), Dillon Lifrieri (UNC- Wilmington), Taber Mongero (UNC- Wilmington), and Andrew Ciufo (Georgetown University) put the Sharks on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning trailing a tie by half. The Bananas slowly advanced their lead throughout the game earning ten total runs. Proving stronger at the plate than in games past, players Andrew Ciufo, David Milam (Trevecca Nazarene University), and Dylan Jeffries (Mount Olive University) assisted their team with three total RBIs. Ciufo and Milam added the last runs of the night in the eighth inning, finalizing the score at 10-6. Ciufo had an impressive performance earning a total of two runs with only three at bats for his team.
Joe Cobb (Lenoir-Rhyne) of the Wilmington Sharks claimed the mound for the first three innings of the game allowing four runs on four hits and striking out one Banana. He was followed by Ryan Marketell (Shepherd), Christian Aich (Pace), Gavin Grubbs (Lipscomb), Andrew Ledbetter (Stony Brook), and Reid Robertson (Georgia College) to close out the game. Ledbetter had a strong performance allowing no hits and earning two strikeouts within his inning.
Despite the loss, the Sharks are pleased to have the support of so many local Wilmington organizations and fans that came out to show their love for the team on Saturday night. The Sharks are headed to Holly Springs on Sunday (6/19) to face the Salamanders but will return home on Monday (6/20) to play the Myrtle Beach All-Stars. Tickets are available for purchase at wilmingtonsharks.com and by calling 910-343-5621.