Homestand Preview: May 23-29

Memorial Day weekend is always a fun one! We can’t wait to see you out here – homestand starts Wednesday. Time to kick off the summer!

-Shawn

Wednesday 5/23
Burlington Bees (Oakland Athletics 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 – Lincoln Middle School (Mt. Prospect)
God Bless America – performed by St. Charles 5th Grade Band
Fans can run the bases after the game

Thursday 5/24
Burlington Bees
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 – JB Nelson School
Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 5/25
Burlington Bees
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
‘60’s Night – various in-game contests
Pre-game concert by Scraps of Brass
National Anthem – “Mid-Knight Special” Choir
In-game entertainment by Myron Noodleman
Post-game fireworks show (‘60’s theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game
All-scout campout (reservations required)

Saturday 5/26
Beloit Snappers (Minnesota Twins farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Pre-game autograph session
National Anthem – Monroe Middle School
In-game entertainment by the ZOOperstars!
Post-game fireworks show (Grease theme)
Three Fires Council Scout campout (reservations required)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 5/27
Beloit Snappers
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark
Live organ music by Nancy Faust
Pre-game autograph session
National Anthem – Eastview Middle School
In-game entertainment by Birdzerk
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Bolingbrook T-Ball
Post-game fireworks show (Patriotic theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game
Family Campout (reservations required)

Monday 5/28
Beloit Snappers
1 p.m. (gates open at 12 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
Pre-game autograph session
Ozzie pencils for the first 1,500 fans
National Anthem – Peter Gombert School
Fans can run the bases after the game

Tuesday 5/29
Beloit Snappers
11 a.m. (gates open at 10 a.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (10:45 a.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club parade
National Anthem – Mill Creek School
Color Guard – Steinmetz High School ROTC
Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

‘60’s Night on Friday: The first of four “Decades Nights” this season kicks off Friday with ‘60’s Night. Fans will enjoy live music from Scraps of Brass before the game. In conjunction with the Ozzie’s Reading Club pre-game parade that night, fans can also take part in a lighthearted protest parade, a hippie look-a-like contest, and a tie-dye station (fans must bring their own white t-shirt). Following the game, a ‘60’s-themed fireworks show will light up the sky. Remaining “Decades Nights” include ‘70’s Night on June 28, ‘80’s Night on July 12, and ‘90’s Night on July 26.

Welcome back: Several fan favorites make their 2012 Cougars debut this weekend: Myron Noodleman (Friday), the ZOOperstars! (Saturday) and Birdzerk (Sunday) all make their first appearances of the season at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Nancy Faust returns: The traditional live organ music of Nancy Faust will fill Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Sunday night’s game. That evening is also a Sunday Funday, with a variety of free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark beginning at 5:30 p.m. that evening.

Sign please: Cougars players will sign autographs 30 minutes before game time on the following dates this weekend: Saturday 5/26, Sunday 5/27 and Monday 5/28.

We’re camping: An all-scout campout will take place following Friday’s game. Scouts can purchase a package that includes a ticket to that evening’s game, as well as an opportunity to watch a post-game movie from the field and camp out under the stars at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Breakfast will be served the following morning. A family campout, open to all Cougars fans, takes place on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Nuke’s back: Former Cougars manager Aaron Nieckula returns to Geneva, as the Burlington manager faces his former team beginning Wednesday. “Nuke” is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins with 285. At press time, two Bees players spent time as a player at Kane County (pitchers Jonathan Joseph and Jose Macias).

Team News: With less than a month remaining in the season’s first half, the Cougars (23-21) are 4 games behind first place Wisconsin and 3 games behind Beloit for the first half wild card position. The Cougars have been in the Midwest League Playoffs for 4 straight seasons, but have relied on a second half qualifier to make the playoffs for the past 2 seasons. The ’09 season was also the last season in which the Cougars posted a .500 or better first half record. Outfielder Lane Adams is batting .331, a league best. Fellow outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is batting .323, good for third-best in the league. Pitcher Edwin Carl has the fifth-best ERA in the league (1.79). Infielder Murray Watts is tied for 4th with 8 home runs. Offensively, Adams, Bonifacio and infielder Danny Mateo all have at least 50 hits…infielder Michael Antonio was named Midwest League Batter of the Week this afternoon after batting .478 in 6 games last week.

Alumni News:  Oakland infielder Jemile Weeks (’08) leads the American League with 10 stolen bases…Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) is tied for 2nd in the A.L. with 34 RBI…Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham (’01) is batting .292 with 8 home runs and 25 RBI…Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier (’03) leads the National League with 37 RBI…Washington pitcher Henry Rodriguez (’07) has made 20 appearances for the Nationals…Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster (’96) holds a 2.28 ERA through 7 starts…Boston pitcher Josh Beckett (’00) notched his second straight strong start on Sunday. The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.38 ERA for the Red Sox.

Pitcher Vin Mazzaro (’06) picked up his first Major League win of the season on 5/15 for Kansas City…in 20 games at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, catcher Ryan Jenkins (’11) is batting .271. Teammate Justin Marks (’10) is 3-1 in 8 starts…despite a 1-6 record, pitcher Jason Adam (’11) has a 2.82 ERA in 9 starts at Class-A Advanced Wilmington…pitcher Greg Billo (’11) is 3-3 with a 5.58 ERA…since becoming the first ’12 Cougar to receive a promotion, pitcher Santiago Garrido is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA for Wilmington…pitcher Nick Rogers has 5 saves for Wilmington…outfielder Jermaine Mitchell (’07) has cooled off at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland), currently batting .244 after opening the month with a .329 average…outfielder Jeremy Barfield (’09) is batting .317 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI at Double-A Midland (Oakland). Teammate Michael Choice (’10) is batting .264 with 3 home runs and 19 RBI…pitcher Sean Doolittle (’07) picked up his first professional save for the Rock Hounds on 5/20…pitcher Dan Straily (’10) struck out 15 batters on 5/18 and leads the Texas League with 69 strikeouts…outfielder Corey Brown (’08) has appeared in 44 games at Triple-A Syracuse (Toronto) and is tied for 3rd in the International League with 83 total bases…pitcher Sam Demel (’07) has made 20 appearances at Triple-A Reno (Arizona)…pitcher Justin Friend (’08) has an 0.66 ERA in 13 games at Double-A Reading (Philadelphia) and leads the Eastern League with 7 saves.

(statistics through games played on 5/20)

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

Thursday, May 24 from 1-3 p.m. – Bristol Grade School
Friday, June 1 from 10-11 a.m. – Alice Gustafson Grade School (Batavia)

Cougars infielder Michael Antonio was named Midwest League Batter of the Week on Monday.

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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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