Homestand Preview: August 4-7

Homestand Notes

Ballroom meets magic: One of the most popular entertainment acts on the Cougars’ promotional calendar is Quick Change, who will be at the ballpark this Saturday. Quick Change, comprised of David Michael Maas and Dania Kaseeva, have been mesmerizing crowds with their unforgettable talent for years. In the forefront of the popular ballroom dancing craze, David and Dania’s act consists of elegant ballroom dance sequences that involve numerous colorful costume changes. The changes are, as the name implies, quick. Within a fraction of a second, David and Dania have magically changed costumes while keeping a perfect dance rhythm. The duo will perform following the game this Saturday.

Special appearance by the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford: The Cougars will welcome the #17 Fifth Third Bank Ford, the car driven by NASCAR’s Matt Kenseth, to the ballpark this Saturday. Fans can have their photo taken in front of the #17, hear the roar of a real NASCAR, and test their skills on the race simulator. Fans are encouraged to show their Fifth Third Bank debit or credit card to receive a special gift.

Nancy Faust: The Cougars welcome back famed organist Nancy Faust for this Sunday’s 1 pm game. Nancy has played at Sunday Cougars games this season, and it was announced recently that she will return to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark for select Cougars games in 2013. Sunday’s game is also a Sunday Funday, presented by Dave & Buster’s. Free kid-friendly entertainment provided by will be available inside the stadium beginning at 12 pm that day. Fans can also take part in a pre-game autograph session and run the bases following the game.

Spend a little, save a lot: A pair of weeknight specials are included in the upcoming homestand. Monday’s 6:30 p.m. game is a ½ Price Monday, with $5 reserved seats and $4 lawn tickets. Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. is the final 2-sday of the summer. Fans can enjoy $2 food and drink specials including hot dogs, small sodas, domestic beers and a select ice cream novelty. Kids age 3-10 also receive a $2 reserved or lawn seat ticket.

Team News:
Entering play on Wednesday, the Cougars (19-18) trail first place Clinton by 3 games and Burlington by 1 game, in the chase for a Western Division 2nd half playoff berth. Kane County faces Burlington 7 more times and faces Clinton 3 more times before the end of the regular season. The Cougars’ overall record is 53-54; the club has had a .500 or better 2nd half record for 12 of the past 13 seasons and has made the league playoffs 13 times in 21 seasons. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is tied for 4th in the league with 110 hits and is tied with Orlando Calixte (who was promoted to High-A Wilmington earlier this summer) with 10 home runs. Infielder Danny Mateo needs 2 RBI to eclipse the 50 RBI mark and become the third Cougar (Bonifacio, Michael Antonio) to do so. Last year, two Cougars reached the 50 RBI mark: Cheslor Cuthbert and Brian Fletcher. Aaron Brooks leads the staff with 9 wins and 122 innings pitched. His 9-inning complete game on Sunday was the first by a Cougars pitcher since left-hander James Heuser on July 31, 2007. Pitcher Andrew Triggs, one of two ’12 draft selections on the current Cougars roster, sports a 0.87 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

Cougars pitcher Andrew Triggs has been a force in the Cougars’ bullpen during the season’s second half.

Alumni News:  Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) holds the major league lead with 85 RBI, while Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham (’00-’01) has driven in 79, good for 3rd in the big leagues. Cabrera’s .322 batting average is 5th in the American League. MLB trade deadline deals involving Cougars alumni included pitcher Ryan Dempster (’96) who was traded from the Cubs to Texas, while outfielder Scott Podsednik (’97) was dealt from Boston to Arizona. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) threw a one-hitter against the Cubs Tuesday night, and is 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA this season. Burnett has won 10 or more games for the 10th time in his career, and his 13 wins are 2nd in the National League. A pair of Cougars alums are also hoping to reach the 10-win mark this season: Arizona pitcher Trevor Cahill (’07) is 9-9 this season while Philadelphia pitcher Joe Blanton (’03) is 8-9. San Diego closer Huston Street (’04) is 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA and is a perfect 17-for-17 in save opportunities. Boston infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) is nearing the .300 mark and enters tonight’s play with a .297 average. Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz (’03) slugged his 15th home run on Sunday. Cruz has hit 15 or more home runs each season since 2009. Minnesota pitcher Jared Burton (’03) has a 2.40 ERA in 42 relief appearances.

Former Cougar Scott Podsednik (’97) was dealt from Boston to Arizona.

Outfielder Brian Fletcher (’11) is batting .269 with 7 home runs and 18 RBI at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.  Pitcher Yordano Ventura (’11) had made 4 starts for Northwest Arkansas (0-2, 5.68 ERA). Kane County’s 2011 Pitcher of the Year, Greg Billo (’11), who made 10 starts this season at High-A Wilmington, will miss the remainder of the season due to an arm injury, and it’s expected that the right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery. Despite losing 11 games this season at Wilmington, Jason Adam (’11) has a respectable 3.80 ERA. Infielder Anthony Aliotti (’10) is 10th among Texas League hitters with a .287 average at Double-A Midland (Oakland). Infielder Conner Crumbliss (’09-’10) is 4th in the Texas League with a .400 on-base percentage at Midland. Outfielder Corey Brown (’08) is 4th in the International League with 21 home runs at Triple-A Syracuse (Washington). Brown is also batting .300, good for 8th in the league. Pitcher Travis Banwart (’07-’08) is 7-3 with a 4.12 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). Pitcher Dan Straily is 5-2 with a 1.36 ERA at Sacramento. The right-hander has 175 strikeouts and easily leads all of Minor League Baseball in that category. Pitcher Mickey Storey (’09) is 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City (Houston). Pitcher Justin Friend (’08) is 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia). Pitcher Bo Schultz (’10) is 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA at High-A Visalia (Arizona). Infielder Jason Christian (’08-’10) has played in 30 games at Double-A Mississippi (Atlanta).  (statistics through games played on 7/31)

Saturday 8/4          Cedar Rapids Kernels (Los Angeles Angels farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Cougars batting practice helmets for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Provena Mercy Medical Center
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 6 pm
Vintage Mustang Club car parade
National Anthem – Amy Loukota
Fifth Third Bank Matt Kenseth #17 Ford NASCAR will be available for fans to see
Post-game performance by Quick Change
Post-game fireworks show (Wilco theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 8/5             Cedar Rapids Kernels
1 p.m. (gates open at 12 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark
Live organ music by Nancy Faust
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 12:30 pm
National Anthem – Steve Spizzirri
In-game entertainment by the ZOOperstars!
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by St. John’s UCC
Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 8/6            Cedar Rapids Kernels
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)       WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Weeknight Special – Half-Price Monday ($5 reserved seats and $4 lawn tickets)
National Anthem – Russ Pape and Brad Shanks
Fans can run the bases after the game

Tuesday 8/7           Cedar Rapids Kernels
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)       WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Weeknight Special 2-sdays: $2 specials on select food and drink, along with $2 reserved or lawn seat tickets for children age 3-10
Click pens for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of the Kane County Beacon News
National Anthem – West Town Chorus
Ceremonial first pitch by Mrs. Illinois
Fans can run the bases after the game


About Kane County Cougars

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