Even not at full strength, Bananas thriving early

Even not at full strength, Bananas still thriving

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It hasn't taken long for the Savannah Bananas to re-establish themselves as a top team in the Coastal Plain League.

The team won their fifth straight game Thursday night to strengthen their early season lead in the South Division.

What is most encouraging for the team at this point: how well the team is playing without some of their expected top performers.

2017 Coastal Plain League All-Star L.J. Talley has yet to join the team after Georgia's NCAA Regional appearance, and he's just one of six or seven players still finishing up their college baseball obligations.

Bananas head coach Tyler Gillum says he expects a few of those still with their college programs to join the team this weekend or early next week. But the team's performance without them has made him very happy.

"We've still got some guys that aren't here, and when they get here, it's just going to take us to the next level," Gillum says. "It's special. We like this group of guys, and once we get some more guys here in the next couple weeks, we're just going to keep on rolling along."

Gillum says one of the keys to the team's success in the first week of the season has been guys stepping up in the absences of others.

"I'm really happy about the guys that we have now," Gillum says. "We have some temporary guys, some conditional guys that are going to turn into permanent guys because they've played so well."

The Bananas lead the CPL in runs scored and are fourth in hits. As good as the team's offense has been through the first six games, Gillum credits the buy-in from the players in the clubhouse for the early success.

"I think the main thing is just trying to create a culture of being organized, creating daily routines, and getting guys comfortable with trying to play in front of 4300 fans. That's a big piece of it," he says. "But I think just getting comfortable with what we do, creating those routines every single day. Once you create that comfortable feeling, these guys just show up and get after it. It's been really good to start."

The Bananas travel to Florence for a Friday night affair against the RedWolves before returning to Savannah Saturday for a matchup with Lexington County.