The Buies Creek Astros have cemented their place in history among the Carolina League after besting the Potomac Nationals in the 11th inning at Jim Perry Stadium.
The deciding force was Jonathan Arauz whose centerfield hit brought in Chuckie Robinson’s winning run, leading to rapturous on-field celebrations. Arauz was also named MVP immediately following the 2-1 victory.
“Players on both these teams worked very hard to reach that 1-1 bottom of the ninth,” commented Geoff Lassiter, president of the Carolina League. “With Buies Creek having men on base all night long, sooner or later you knew one was going to come across.”
The Astros faced the Nationals just hours after a decision was made to restructure the Mills Cup Finals from a best-of-five series into a single game shootout, due to the threat of incoming Hurricane Florence. With the state of North Carolina preparing for direct impact this allows Carolina League fans to devote time to taking care of themselves and loved ones.
“While it’s unfortunate that we have a hurricane coming, this certainly felt like game five,” said Lassiter during on-field celebrations “It’s great to have Buies Creek in our history now with their name on the trophy. We’re so appreciative of their support of the Carolina League while we’re in a transition period, and it’s a good opportunity for them to make some history with us.”
That transition period is now nearing a close since this is the last home game at Campbell University for the Class A-Advanced Houston Astros affiliate team. As of the 2019 opening day they will make Fayetteville their home, moving in to the downtown ballpark which is now being constructed.
After two seasons of playing as the Buies Creek Astros, the club will enter their new stadium and hometown as league champions.