Kane County Cougars Homestand Preview: June 2-8

The Kane County Cougars, Class-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, open a six-game homestand on Friday against the Peoria Chiefs, a Chicago Cubs farm team, and the Quad Cities River Bandits, a St. Louis Cardinals farm team. The homestand includes a “Salute to Ron Santo” night on Saturday, pre-game autograph sessions before Saturday and Sunday’s games, and Princess Night on Friday. Tickets are available for each game on the upcoming homestand by calling (630) 232-8811 or visiting www.kccougars.com.

Saturday 6/2
Peoria Chiefs (Chicago Cubs farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Salute to Ron Santo Night
Team car magnet giveaway for the first 1,500 fans
Pre-game dance performance by Discover Dance (Villa Park)
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players
Baseball Buddies – Illinois Rebels
National Anthem – Edison Middle School Band (Wheaton)
Post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers
Post-game fireworks show (Popular music theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game


Sunday 6/3
Peoria Chiefs
1 p.m. (gates open at Noon)            WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

Cancer Survivors Day – Cougars players to wear commemorative purple jerseys
Cougars claws for the first 1,500 children age 14 and under, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank
Pre-game cancer survivor parade
Pre-game blood drive sponsored by Heartland Blood Centers
Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark
Live organ music by Nancy Faust
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players
National Anthem – Thomas Middle School (Arlington Heights)
God Bless America – performed by Ken Overby
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Naperville Little League
Fans can run the bases after the game

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

Weeknight special – $5 reserved seat tickets and $4 lawn seat tickets
National Anthem – Clarendon Hills Middle School Chorus
Fans can run the bases after the game

Wednesday 6/6
Quad Cities River Bandits (St. Louis Cardinals farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Bark in the Park Night (dogs admitted for free on lawn area)
Pre-game dog parade
Weeknight Special – Winning Wednesday Scratch Cards for the first 1,500 adults 21 and over
National Anthem – The Mattina Brass Ensemble
God Bless America – performed by Church of the Resurrection Inspiration Singers
Fans and dogs can run the bases after the game


Thursday 6/7
Quad Cities River Bandits
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Cougars softee ball for the first 1,500 fans, sponsored by Country Financial
National Anthem – Herget Middle School Honors Choir (Aurora)
Baseball Buddies – Sycamore Youth Baseball
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by North Aurora Baseball
Post-game fireworks show (International music theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 6/8
Quad Cities River Bandits
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Princess/Daddy Daughter Date Night
Pre-game princess parade
Team baseball card sets for the first 1,500 fans, sponsored by Provena Mercy Medical Center
National Anthem – Fox Valley Children’s Chorus
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Hanover Park Little League
Post-game fireworks show (Princess theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Salute to Ron Santo: The Cougars will host a “Salute to Ron Santo” night for this Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game against the Peoria Chiefs – a Cubs farm team. To celebrate the late Ron Santo’s induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame this summer, the Cougars are planning a variety of events to commemorate the legendary Cubs third baseman’s storied career. The Cougars will donate a portion of ticket proceeds that night to JDRF, an organization that held close ties to Ron Santo and his commitment to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Fans can take advantage of a special ticket offer by ordering tickets online at kccougars.com. When ordering tickets online for the June 2 game, fans can enter “SANTO” as the special promo code to receive a $2 discount on reserved seats, making the reserved seats an appropriate $10 ticket, to reflect Santo’s jersey number.

Congrats graduates: The Cougars are encouraging recent high school and college graduates to present their diploma at the box office for one (1) free reserved or lawn seat ticket for either Saturday or Sunday’s game during the upcoming homestand.

See the future: Cougars fans, as well as Cubs fans, will also have a great chance to see the Cubs’ first round pick from last summer’s amateur draft, shortstop Javier Baez. Baez joined the Chiefs last week and at press time, is on the Peoria roster and scheduled to be in Geneva beginning Saturday.

Bark in the Park: The first of two “Bark in the Park” theme nights is scheduled for the Wednesday, June 6 game. Dogs are admitted for free onto the right field lawn area. Dogs and their owners can take part in a pre-game parade on the field. In-game contests will be held for the biggest, smallest and best-dressed dog.

Weeknight specials return: Monday’s 6:30 p.m. game marks the first of 13 weeknight specials this season. The June 4th game features $5 reserved seat tickets as well as $4 lawn seat tickets. Various weeknight specials this season feature ticket discounts, food and drink discounts and lucky scratch card giveaways that include suite rentals and even $500 as possible prizes.

Daddy/Daughter Date Night Packages: The Cougars will host Princess Night for the Friday, June 8 game. In conjunction with this event, a Daddy/Daughter Date Night package can be ordered that includes unique opportunities for dads and daughters to enjoy an unforgettable evening at a Cougars game. Young princesses will enjoy the June 8 game as princess-related activities will fill that evening’s 6:30 p.m. contest. Girls are asked to dress in princess attire and take part in a pre-game parade on the field. The Cougars will hold a costume contest, and all princesses can enjoy a manicure station, as well as having the opportunity to pose for photos with a princess who will be a special guest of the Cougars. The evening will close with a princess-themed fireworks show.

In conjunction with the evening, a “Daddy/Daughter Date Night” package will be available. For $24, dads and daughters each receive a reserved seat ticket, a photo opportunity on the field, a princess tiara, and can watch the princess-themed fireworks show from the field. Additional tickets for family members are $10, and additional daughters in the family are $10 as well, which includes the Daddy/Daughter events. Advanced registration is required and packages can be ordered online at kccougars.com or by calling (630) 232-8811.

Team News: Entering play Thursday, the Cougars have 17 games remaining in the season’s first half. The Cougars (28-25) trail Beloit by 3 games for the first half wild card spot, and trail Wisconsin by 6 games for the Western Division’s top spot. The team has already matched last year’s squad for first half wins with 28. 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. The Cougars’ 15-9 loss on Monday featured a combined total of 41 hits by the Cougars and Beloit. The barrage of hits fell 4 hits shy of the Midwest League record, set by the Cougars and Cedar Rapids on May 8, 1999. Outfielder Lane Adams is batting .330, good for 4th in the league. Fellow outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is batting .317, good for 7th in the league. Adams and Bonifacio share the league lead with 67 hits apiece. With 39 team home runs, Cougars hitters are on pace to produce the most round-trippers since the ’05 Cougars squad, which swatted 119 home runs. Infielder Michael Antonio was batting a season-low .176 on May 10, but has seen his average increase to .260 entering play this evening in Clinton.

Alumni News:  Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) is 9th in the A.L. with a .315 average and is 3rd with 41 RBI. Boston infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) has 18 doubles, ranking him first in the A.L. Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier (’03) has seen his average climb to .333, good for 4th best in the N.L; his 44 RBI lead the N.L. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) allowed 2 hits in 7 innings for Pittsburgh last night. Washington outfielder Corey Brown (’08) received a promotion to the Nationals after a strong offensive start to his ’12 season at Triple-A Syracuse. Brown recently hit home runs in 5 consecutive games for Syracuse. San Francisco pitcher Santiago Casilla (’03, ‘04) has a 1.17 ERA in 24 appearances. Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham (’01) has 10 home runs and 35 RBI. Twins teammate Jeff Gray (’06) is 3-0. Outfielder Scott Podsednik (’97) is batting .467 through 6 games with Boston.

Pitcher Jon Keck was the second member of the ’11 Cougars squad to play at Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season, joining batterymate Ryan Jenkins. Keck has pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief so far for the Naturals. Pitcher Justin Marks (’10) is 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 10 starts at Northwest Arkansas. Outfielder Brian Fletcher (’11) is batting .315 with 3 home runs and 21 RBI at Class-A Advanced Wilmington. Hard-luck starting pitcher Jason Adam (’11) is 1-8, but has posted a respectable 3.71 ERA. Fellow starter Greg Billo (’11) has won 3 of his last 5 starts. Closer Nick Rogers (’11) has 6 saves coupled with a 0.53 ERA.   Pitcher Travis Banwart (’07-’08) leads Triple-A Sacramento (Athletics) with 11 starts and has posted a 4.55 ERA. Outfielder Michael Choice (’10) of Double-A Midland (Athletics) had a four-hit effort last night and is batting .263 with 4 home runs and 23 RBI. Pitcher Dan Straily (’10) is 2nd among all minor league pitchers with 79 strikeouts for Midland. Infielder Anthony Aliotti is 7th in the Texas League with a .311 average for Midland.  Pitcher Justin Friend (’08) continues to dazzle at Double-A Reading (Phillies). The right-handed reliever has a 0.50 ERA in 17 appearances. Infielder Jeff Baisley (’06) is batting .312 with 8 home runs and 37 RBI at Triple-A Albuquerque (Dodgers). Pitcher Sam Demel (’07) leads Triple-A Reno (Diamondbacks) and the Pacific Coast League with 24 appearances. Pitcher Rob Gilliam (’10) is second in the Eastern League with 53 strikeouts, and is pitching for Double-A Harrisburg (Nationals).

(statistics through games played on 5/30)

Where’s Ozzie? Ozzie T. Cougar is scheduled to make upcoming appearances in the community at the following locations:
Monday, June 4 from 2-3 p.m. – Washington School (Wheaton)
Wednesday, June 6 from 10-11 a.m. – Kindercare (South Elgin)

Nancy Faust will perform live organ music during this Sunday’s 1 p.m. game!


About Kane County Cougars

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