Top 13 Moments from a Legendary Week in North Carolina & the Florida League Challenger Game

Written by Biko Skalla:


We had the first ever foul ball caught by a fan to end a game, the fastest inning in Banana Ball history, our first Tie-Breaker Showdowns since May, the most runs ever scored by a team in an inning, and the first ever back-to-back walk-off homers. Time to exhale. Before we dig into all of that, lets take a quick peak at what happened when the Florida Collegiate Summer League All-Stars journeyed north to take on the Bananas…

The Future is Bright!

The college kids made all kinds of trick play history…

Not One-Trick Ponies

The Florida Leaguers gave us a couple sparkling defensive plays on top of their trickery…

Get Kai Hudson in Bananaland ASAP!

Cowboy Kyle Gets a Strikeout from Downtown

I feel like this should be worth 2 outs…

The movement on this pitch was mind melting! Our resident YouTube King, Zack Breaux, threw a tracker on it for Kyle that really helps show how absurd the pitch was.

After the Florida League All-Stars won the first inning the Bananas would walk-off 5 of the next 8 frames to win 5-1. It was an incredible showing from the college kids though as they fully bought into Banana Ball and made it a joyous night from start to finish. It’s a real shame that game one was rained out after 2 innings. The Florida Leaguers were up by a point when Mother Nature called game. I can promise you I’ll be banging the drum for the best of the Florida League to battle the Bananas again next year.

Top Gun Gets Bananafied

Here’s a palate cleanser before we head to North Carolina…

Shoutout Ivan, “Tracksuit,” Traczuk, for making that look like quite possibly the most fun game of wiffle ball ever played.

A Historic Third Inning Party

After 2 scoreless innings the Party Animals decided game one in Kannapolis would not be a pitcher’s duel…

I’m guessing this was not the best birthday of Zack Phillips’s life. Twenty bucks says he doesn’t have a worse inning throughout the entirety of his 25th year on Earth.

First Ever Back-to-Back Home Runs!

The beautiful thing about Banana Ball is winning an inning 7-0 only gets you one point. Two swings of the bat later and the Bananas had their first lead of the night…

Deeb’s homer came on the 9th pitch of his at-bat. A classic grind of a battle where he used a two-strike approach to poke a ball about 400 feet out to right-center. Obviously, Dan’s trip to the dish was much more of a one-punch knockout.

The following three innings went:

Walk-off single from Jackson Olson.

Walk-off double from Danny Hosley.

Walk-off fielder’s choice from Vitamin Deeb.

All of a sudden Hosley was on the mound in the 9th with a four-point lead. After striking out Garett Delano and Joe Lytle, Danny set his sights on Dustin Baber…

The Greatest Moment in Banana Ball History

This is not hyperbole…

Shoutout to Khamani Faggart for making the game-winning snag and in doing so also breaking the internet! There are loads of great stories about Khamani online, and although I have to cringe at a majority of them for the hilarious transcribing failures from the broadcast (“that’s why you bring your CLUB to the ballpark”?!?!), they’re all worth a read and watch. Also, Deeb had been chatting with Khamani all night, keeping him locked in and tapped in, so the payoff for the third-year Banana was unimaginable. You can see the glee in all the Bananas players faces, but nobody was more fired up than Vitamin Deeb.

The Cornhole Game to End All Cornhole Games

Little did we know while we watched Adam Virant and Jackson Olson whiff on beanbag toss after beanbag toss that this was the last at-bat our Greatest Showman would have before getting smoked in the face by a Dylan Porter pickoff attempt at second…

Unfortunately, Viro, Jackson would not score because as I mentioned above, he would get smoked in the face by a Dylan Porter pickoff attempt at second base (although Dalton Mauldin would score in Jackson’s place). Getting rushed to the hospital of course could not stop our Tik Tok superstar from creating some phenomenal content though…


I can’t let Taylor Swift see me like this… #baseballboys #ouch

♬ original sound – EX7STENCE™

I’ve probably watched this over 200 times and it still makes me giggle. You’re one of one, Jackson.

Oh and for those of you out there who are thinking, “Wait… Didn’t he have a mic on him for that cornhole bit with Viro?” 1. Great memory. 2. You’re darn tootin’ he did…


Replying to @Tyy2flyyy I had to ask the most important question at the end😂 #baseball #ouch

♬ original sound – Jackson Olson

Can’t make that stuff up. I’m sorry that you got smoked in the face by a Dylan Porter pickoff attempt at second base, Mr. Olson, but man you have really brought me joy with the content you (and Ivan) have made from of it.

Jackson had successful surgery in Durham and is hoping to make his return to the hot corner on our upcoming trip to California.

Speaking of things not going quite as planned…

Malachi Mitchel Gets Put Through the Little Mermaid Ringer

This gave me a good ole’ laugh in the booth…

Gets me every time.

While we’re in random fun things mode…

A Whole Bat Tricking Team?!

It’s so hard to decide where to look here…

This is another one that’s gotten double digit views from yours truly because I have to watch a new Nanner every time. Some guys honestly pull off some impressive tricks back there. Most do not.

When it came to the Banana Ball played on night two in Kannapolis, Tanner Thomas and Dalton Cornett both went yaborooni for the Party Animals but the Bananas struck early and often, never trailing in their 4-2 victory.

With the boys in yellow a win away from taking North Carolina we packed our bags, jumped onto I-85, and headed over to Durham…

There’s No Place for Lollygaggers in Bananaland

Really impressive acting performances from everyone involved here.

Wild Finish in Durham

Jared Donalson and Sean Fluke combined for one of the best pitchers’ duels on the tour. Donnie went 6 innings, only allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a ball-four sprint, while striking out 6. The Exterminator pitched through the 8th inning and finished credited with 6.1 innings pitched (because between the two innings he was walked-off on he only got one out), giving up only 1 earned run on 7 hits and 3 ball-four sprints, while also picking up 6 punchouts.

It was a one-point game heading to the 9th inning when things got very interesting…

What a way to win North Carolina!

The Party Animals would avoid the 4-game state sweep on Saturday night as they were led offensively by Reece Hampton who went 3-4 with a double, a sprint, and 2 RBI. Bret Helton did the heavy lifting for the pitching staff, tossing 5 innings of relief without allowing an earned run. The first of his 5 frames tossed only took one minute and eleven seconds, making it the fastest inning in Banana Ball history! I would throw it in here but our magical marketing team is saucing together an edit of the inning and I cannot ruin their fun.

It was a quick turnaround after that, as we all jumped in a couple buses Sunday morning and raced home to Savannah where the Charleston Dirty Birds were supposed to play their third game of the tour against the Bananas on Monday night. Unfortunately, the only game being played in Historic Grayson Stadium the following evening was mermaids…

Grayson Stadium Becomes the Third Largest Lake in Georgia


They fought over who could be the pink one for half an hour 🧜‍♂️ #thepartyanimals #thesavannahbananas #wannaplaymermaids #doyouwanttoplaymermaids #fy #partyanimals #savbananas #mermaids #funny #baseballboys

♬ original sound – The Party Animals

I wish they would invite me to play mermaids :/

It was actually the most water myself, Tyler Gillum, and all the elder statesman of Bananaland had ever seen on our 97-year-old field…

I’m obsessed with the way Bill looks in this picture. It’s mesmerizing.

There actually were a few other games being played in Grayson besides mermaids. Luckily, our YouTube King, Zackarias Breauxtaco was ready to strike again as he cooked up a heater to highlight of the fellas (Biko included this time) making the best of our beloved ballpark turning into a swamp that even a Louisianan like ZB could appreciate.

The Bananas add North Carolina to Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, taking a one-state advantage over the Party Animals who have Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio (and are one win in the final five games they have in Grayson away from taking Georgia).

As big a prize as you can find in our country will hang in the balance of the next six games as the Nanners and Animals will go to war in California starting on Friday night. And maybe even more exciting than that, Biko finally gets to see the Pacific Ocean! If that doesn’t fire you up I can’t imagine something that would.

Thanks again for taking a journey back in time with me! This one was a doozy. I expect our next recap will be as well.

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