DUNEDIN, Fla. -- A wild contest in the series finale saw the Charlotte Stone Crabs grab a 9-8 victory in 11 innings over the Dunedin Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Stone Crabs finally jumped out to a big lead over the Blue Jays, scoring first for the third time in the four game set and finally earning much needed victory. Henry Wrigley put Charlotte up 1-0 with his third homer of the season in the second inning, paving the way for a three run rally against Dunedin starter Andrew Liebel.
Wrigley had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-6 while driving in three runs and scoring two more. His mad dash from second base to homeplate on a throwing error by Jays reliever Tim Collins in the 11th inning proved to be the winning run.
Sunday's win for the Stone Crabs snapped their four game losing streak and ended a string of six straight losses at the hands of Dunedin. It also helped them avoid what would have been their first four-game sweep of the season.
Charlotte built up a 7-0 lead behind starter Jeremy Hall, who departed in line for his ninth win of the year after going six innings and allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out six.
The trouble for the Stone Crabs began with some miscommunication on a grounder to first base with one out and the bases clear in the Dunedin half of the seventh inning.
Wrigley had fielded a routine grounder and was closing in the bag when he suddenly flipped to reliever Kevin Boggan, who dropped the feed which allowed Adam Loewen to reach base safely.
That error would open the door for a six-run inning put together by the D-Jays, highlighted by a towering three-run homer by John Tolisano that capped the scoring. It was the second time in the series that Dunedin scored six runs in an inning and it gave them a 8-7 lead.
It was a lead that would prove to be brief, as Wrigley atoned for the play at first by punching a two-out run-scoring single to right fiend that tied the game 8-8 in the top of the eighth. The game would stay that way until the 11th, when Wrigley singled to start the inning and was moved along on a sacrifice bunt.
Following a walk to Ryan Royster, Collins (6-3) inexplicably tried to throw behind the runner at first in an apparent pick-off play. The ball would bounce off first baseman Manny Rodriguez's glove and roll up the right field line, allowing Wrigley to motor in all the way from second to score the eventual winning run.
Matt Gorgen (3-0) picked up the win with three perfect innings of relief. He struck out two men in the process. A save was picked up by Austin Hinkle, who threw a perfect 11th inning for his sixth save of the season.
Ryan Royster collected a pair of doubles to go along with a pair of walks and scored two runs, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 10-games. Since beginning the streak on June 12 against Dunedin, Royster has raised his average 31 points, up to .230 for the season. He has hit safely in 14-of-his-16 games this month.
The Stone Crabs will send Alex Cobb to the mound on Monday as they return to Charlotte Sports Park to begin a four game series with the Brevard County Manatees. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST.