Homestand Preview: May 2-4

Cougars Fans,

The fun starts Wednesday evening at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark as the Cougars kick off a three-game series against the Peoria Chiefs, a farm team of the Chicago Cubs! The homestand includes 5/3 Day on Thursday, and Friday’s game is our May The Fourth Be With You : Star Wars Night! Friday’s night game will include a Star Wars-themed fireworks show – it’s our first fireworks night of the season!

Wednesday 5/2
Peoria Chiefs (Chicago Cubs farm team)
6 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.)
WBIG 1280 AM (5:45 p.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Ozzie pencils for the first 1,500 fans
National Anthem – Band For Today
Fans can run the bases after the game

Thursday 5/3
Peoria Chiefs
6 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.)
WBIG 1280 AM (5:45 p.m.)

5/3 Day ($5.30 box, reserved or lawn tickets for fans)
Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank
Reusable grocery bags for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank
Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Pre-game ceremonial ribbon cutting involving local dignitaries
National Anthem – St. John’s Children’s Chorus
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Harrison Street School
Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 5/4
Peoria Chiefs
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)
WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

May The Fourth Be With You: Star Wars Theme Night
Pre-game Star Wars costume and Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Darth Vader
National Anthem – The Wheatlands School
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School
Post-game fireworks show (Star Wars theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

5/3 Day on 5/3: The Cougars and Fifth Third Bank will celebrate the official kick-off of the re-named home of the Cougars this Thursday. The 6 p.m. game has been announced jointly as “Fifth Third Day” by the bank and Cougars organization. The game will feature discounted tickets for fans along with special events that evening including a food drive, ribbon cutting involving local dignitaries, and pre-game ceremonies at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, on the grounds of the Philip B. Elfstrom Events Center. Fans can purchase $5.30 tickets, valid for any box, reserved, or lawn seat ticket, Fans attending Thursday’s game are also asked to bring a non-perishable food item. All collected food will be donated to the Kane County-based Northern Illinois Food Bank, with the goal of providing 53,000 meals through the “Fifth Third Day” efforts.

Use the force: The Cougars’ May The Fourth Be With You Star Wars Night is set for this Friday’s game. Fans are encouraged to dress in character, take part in a pre-game parade and ballpark scavenger hunt, and enjoy a Star Wars-themed fireworks show following the game. Members of the Midwest Garrison will be on hand to pose for photos and Darth Vader will throw a ceremonial first pitch. Tickets are available at kccougars.com or by calling (630) 232-8811.

Team News: Pitcher Santiago Garrido’s 0.84 ERA is third-best in the Midwest League…outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is tied for first with 32 hits and is fourth with a .340 average…closer Nick Graffeo has 4 saves…infielder Danny Mateo is batting .353 in his last 5 games…the Cougars have dipped to 5th in team batting average (.252)…  (statistics through games played on 4/29).

Alumni News:  The A’s transferred pitcher Dallas Braden (’04) from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list on 4/22…Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98, pictured below) made his Pirates debut on 4/21 after fracturing an orbital bone in spring training. The right-hander allowed three hits in seven innings…Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham (’00-’01) continues his torrid start this season. Willingham is 6th in the American League with a .353 batting average…Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) recorded his 1,000th RBI last week, making him the sixth-youngest player to achieve the milestone in Major League history behind Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Lou Gehrig. Cabrera ranks in the top 5 among A.L. hitters in home runs (7) and RBI (20)…Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier (’03) is tied with teammate Matt Kemp for the National League lead in RBI with 24…Oakland pitcher Pedro Figueroa (’09), who made his big league debut last month, has not allowed an earned run in three relief appearances…San Diego pitcher Huston Street (’04) is 3-for-3 in save situations and has allowed one earned run in eight appearances…Minnesota pitcher Jared Burton (’03) has also been stellar in relief, allowing just three earned runs in 10 appearances…fellow Twin Jeff Gray (’06) is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA…

2011 Kane County Player of the Year Brian Fletcher is batting .295 at Class-A Advanced Wilmington…2011 Kane County Pitcher of the Year Greg Billo is 1-3 in four starts at Wilmington…Dontrelle Willis (’02) opened the season at Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore)…Jeff Baisley (’06) continues his Triple-A tear this season at Albuquerque (Dodgers), driving in 19 runs through 23 games…Jermaine Mitchell (’07) is batting .333 at Triple-A Sacramento (A’s)…Anthony Aliotti (’10) is batting .352 at Double-A Midland (A’s)…pitcher Sean Doolittle (’07) recently received a promotion to Midland as he continues his career as a converted pitcher…pitcher Murphy Smith (’09-’10) is off to a 3-0 start at Midland…(statistics through games played on 4/29).

Where’s Ozzie? Ozzie T. Cougar is scheduled to make upcoming appearances in the community at the following locations:

Friday, May 4 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.  – St. Peter School Walk-A-Thon (Aurora) 
Saturday, May 5 from 2-3 p.m. – Geneva Boys Baseball
Sunday, May 6 from 1-2 p.m. – Woodstock Little League

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About Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars are the Class-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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