While summer is often seen as a time for rest and relaxation, the Buies Creek Astros brought excitement to the area this year.
After dominating the regular season with a record of 80-57, the Astros ran through their playoff opponents. They swept the Winston-Salem Dash in three games in the best-of-five series to advance to the championship against the Potomac Nationals. The final was also supposed to be a five-game series, but because of Hurricane Florence, it was relegated to a one-game winner-takes-all championship at Jim Perry Stadium, home of the Camels.
The Astros went 47-25 in Jim Perry this year and claimed their final win in Buies Creek on a walk-off sacrifice fly from Jonathan Arauz to score Chuckie Robinson in the 11th inning and claim the Mills Cup as Carolina League champions.
That was the last game the Astros will play in Buies Creek. The plan was always to use Campbell’s facilities for two seasons until a stadium could be built in nearby Fayetteville. Next year, The Astros’ High-A affiliate will become the Woodpeckers.
But the two seasons in Buies Creek were undoubtedly a success. Four former players who made their debuts under the lights in Jim Perry Stadium a year ago have already made it to the Major Leagues. Nine members of Triple-A Fresno’s team at the end of this past season had played in Buies Creek, and so had most of the roster in Double-A Corpus Christi. When looking at the Houston Astros in the years to come, Harnett County will have played an important role.