SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Bananas are one of the very few summer collegiate baseball teams actually playing this year.
Now, they’ll be getting very familiar with a pair of Coastal Plain League rivals this summer.
“I don’t know if we’re going to like them even more after this year,” Bananas co-owner Jesse Cole laughs.
The Bananas will take part in a regional schedule this season, playing only in-state Macon Bacon and the Lexington County Blowfish from South Carolina in league games. The team will also play a few non-league exhibition games to fill out the schedule.
Team owner Jesse Cole says the league has been working for the past two or three weeks on a solution to play for a league that spans four states.
“Each state is different with different regulations and different guidelines," Cole says. "We’ve realized Georgia and South Carolina can definitely make this happen in a safe way for the fans.”
The three teams will compete against one another over a seven week schedule. The series will crown first half and second half champions and a Southern Summer Ball Series championship game will be played on Sunday, August 16.
The Bananas will play host to Macon on July 1 to kick off the 2020 season.
Cole says he isn’t just excited for his team to play this summer. It’s that they have a chance to play with something at stake.
“We’re going to have a championship and the Bananas are going to bring back a championship," he says. "Yes, the odds are a little better now at 33 percent. But I tell you, that’s what we’re going to do.”
It may not be the normal season fans in Savannah have become accustomed to the last few summers, but Cole argues it’ll still be baseball and it’ll still be the Bananas
“The real winner? The fans, the community," Cole says. "We actually get to see the Bananas experience, and I think that’s going to be a huge win.”
The Bananas announced in April they will play games this season with fans, but attendance at Grayson Stadium will be limited to 50%. Team president Jared Orton tweeted Wednesday the team will be announcing their full health and safety plan soon.