Homestand Preview: July 25-30

Wednesday 7/25
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Weeknight Special – Winning Wednesday Scratch Cards for the first 1,500 adults 21 and over
Pre-game performance by DanceQuest of Plainfield
National Anthem – Tom Kirkland
Fans can run the bases after the game

Thursday 7/26       Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

90’s Night
Peanut-Free Night (no peanuts or peanut-related products available, to benefit children with peanut allergies)
Pre-game concert by 9D Rox
Cougars softee baseballs for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Union Pacific/Operation Lifesaver
National Anthem – Fox Valley Presbyterian Church
Special appearance and first pitch by NIU football coach Dave Doeren
Post-game fireworks show (90’s theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 7/27             Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:15 p.m.)        WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Harry Potter Night
Pre-game Harry Potter costume parade
Pre-game performance by Elite Martial Arts
Cougars water bottles for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Fox Valley Orthopedics
National Anthem – St. John Neumann Praise Choir (St. Charles)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Prinova USA
Post-game fireworks show (Harry Potter theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game
Post-game Girl Scout campout (reservations required)

Saturday 7/28        Quad Cities River Bandits (St. Louis Cardinals farm team)  6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Radio Disney night
Pre-game parade – fans encouraged to wear costumes/shirts of their favorite Disney characters
Appearance by the Radio Disney road crew
Umbrellas for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Hyundai
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 6 pm
National Anthem – Shealeigh from Radio Disney
Pre-game performance by St. Charles East Color Guard
In-game entertainment by Birdzerk
God Bless America – performed by Westminster Presbyterian Church
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by St. Charles High School Class of 1967
Post-game fireworks show (Popular music theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 7/29           Quad Cities River Bandits
5 p.m. (gates open at 4 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (4:45 p.m.)

Ozzie’s Birthday
Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark
Ice cream scoops for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Breyers
Live organ music by Nancy Faust
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 4:30 pm
National Anthem – Kristy Gelardi
Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 7/30          Quad Cities River Bandits
12 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.)       WBIG 1280 AM (11:45 a.m.)

Pre-game Day Camp parade
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 11:30 am
National Anthem – Cindy Beier
Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Back to the 90s: The Cougars’ popular “Decades Nights” concludes on Thursday, July 26 with 90’s Night. The evening kicks off with a pre-game concert by the band 9D Rox. Various in-game contests will reflect the 90’s theme, including a “Name That Year” scavenger hunt around the ballpark. Following the game, the fireworks show will be set to music from the 90’s.

Put away the peanuts: The Cougars’ will hold their annual Peanut-Free Night on Thursday, July 26 as well. Peanuts, as well as all peanut-related products, will not be available inside Fifth Third Bank Ballpark that evening, to give families of children with peanut allergies, an opportunity to safely attend a Cougars game.

Harry Potter Night: The Cougars’ Harry Potter Night is set for Friday, July 27. The 6:30 p.m. game that evening will include a pre-game costume parade as fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Harry Potter character, and be eligible to win during an in-game costume contest. The Cougars will close the evening with a Harry Potter-themed fireworks show.

Radio Disney Night: The Cougars will welcome the Radio Disney road crew at Saturday’s Radio Disney Night, set for Saturday, July 28. The Radio Disney road crew will play music inside the stadium beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite Disney character and participate in a pre-game parade. Radio Disney fan favorite Shealeigh will perform the National Anthem and sign autographs for a limited time during the game. Shealeigh, who hails from the western suburbs, is best known for winning the fourth season of Radio Disney’s N.B.T. (Next Big Thing) competition.

Team News: Entering play on Friday, the Cougars (14-11) trail co-Western Division leaders Burlington and Clinton by 0.5 games. The Cougars’ overall record is 48-47; the club has had a .500 or better 2nd half record for 12 of the past 13 seasons. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has seen his average dip within the past 10 days. Bonifacio is batting .299, still good for 10th in the Midwest League. Bonifacio had had a .300 or better average dating back to April 7. Infielder Michael Antonio joined Bonifacio as Cougars with 50 or more RBI this season. Danny Mateo has 39 RBI and could be the third Cougar to reach the mark later this season. Aaron Brooks picked up his third straight win on Monday and leads the staff with 7 wins, and has worked at least 6 innings in 5 of his last 6 starts. Fellow starter Angel Baez has won his 4 last starts, and sports a 2.08 ERA. Infielder Henry Moreno joined the team on Wednesday from Burlington (Rookie League); Moreno was part of the Cougars’ Opening Day roster. Pitcher Andrew Triggs, the lone ’12 draft selection on the current Cougars roster, is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 7 appearances out of the Cougars bullpen.

Alumni News:  A pair of former Cougars from the 2001 Midwest League Championship team are in the Major League’s Top 10 in RBI. Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) is 2nd with 76 RBI, while Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham has driven in 67, tied for 3rd-best in the majors with Prince Fielder. Cabrera is also tied for 3rd in the majors with 121 hits. Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster (’96), despite being in the midst of consistent trade rumors, leads the majors with a 1.86 ERA in 14 games.  Boston infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) has seen his average creep up to .298 – his highest mark since late April. Gonzalez has 8 home runs and 55 RBI. Oakland pitcher Sean Doolittle (’07) is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in 14 appearances. A pair of ’04 Cougars are among the top closers in the National League. San Diego pitcher Huston Street, fresh off his first Major League All-Star nod, has 15 saves with a 1.07 ERA. San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla has 23 saves. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) is 10-3 with a 3.78 ERA. Burnett has won 10 or more games for the 10th time in his career.

Outfielder Brian Fletcher (’11) strung together a 10-game hitting streak at Double-A Northwest Arkansas from 7/3 through 7/13. Fletcher, Kane County’s 2011 Player of the Year last season, is batting .275 since a 2nd half callup from High-A Wilmington. Pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon (’11) is 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Pitcher Yordano Ventura (’11) had a rough debut at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, yielding 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings of work on July 15 against Springfield. A trio of Cougars’ Midwest League All-Stars are currently at High-A Wilmington. Outfielder Lane Adams is batting .238 with 5 home runs and 10 RBI, while pitcher Matt Ridings is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA. Pitcher Nick Graffeo is 0-1 in 13 relief appearances.  Greg Billo, Kane County’s Pitcher of the Year last season, is 5-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts at Wilmington. Royals’ 2011 first round pick Bubba Starling is batting .283 through 16 games at Burlington (Rookie League). Pitcher Dan Straily (’10) continues to succeed at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). Straily has made 6 starts and struck out 54 batters in 41 innings while posting a sparkling 1.10 ERA. Straily’s 162 strikeouts this season easily leads all pitchers in Minor League Baseball. Sacramento pitcher Travis Banwart (’07-08) is 6-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 14 starts for the River Cats. Outfielder Michael Choice (’10) is starting to heat up; Choice is batting .285 with 10 home runs and 58 RBI at Double-A Midland (Oakland). Midland’s roster includes multiple Cougars alumni with 40 or more RBI: ’09 Cougar Dusty Coleman (43), ’07 Cougar Josh Horton (45), ’10 Cougar Anthony Aliotti (47) and ’09 Cougar Jeremy Barfield (48). Catcher Max Stassi (’10) is batting .263 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI at High-A Stockton (Oakland). Pitcher Mickey Storey (’09) is 7-3 with a 3.41 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City (Houston). Pitcher Justin Friend (’08) is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia). Outfielder Corey Brown (’08) is batting .300 with 21 home runs and 57 RBI at Triple-A Syracuse (Washington). Brown participated in the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier this month. Pitcher Sam Demel (’07) has appeared in 41 games at Triple-A Reno (Arizona). Infielder Jeff Baisley (’06) has re-surfaced, and is currently with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox). Through 12 games, the former Midwest League MVP is batting .293 and has spent time this season in 3 organizations: the Dodgers, Tigers and currently the White Sox.  (statistics through games played on 7/19)

2011 Kane County Player of the Year Brian Fletcher recently put together a 10-game hitting streak at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

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

Saturday, July 21 from 2-3 p.m. – Cantigny Rockin’ For the Troops (Wheaton)
Friday, July 27 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Provena Mercy Medical Center (Aurora)

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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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