Homestand Preview: August 25-28

Homestand Notes

Cougars to welcome Dave Bolland: A member of the Chicago Blackhawks will be making a special appearance this homestand. Dave Bolland will throw a ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s 1 p.m. game, and meet with fans for a limited time during the game to sign autographs. Bolland made his NHL debut in 2006, and was part of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks squad.

Popular giveaways ahead: Fans will certainly be waiting outside the gates prior to Saturday and Sunday’s games. The first 1,500 fans through the gates for Saturday’s game will receive a Cougars baseball cap, courtesy of Tuffy Auto Service Centers. Sunday’s 1 p.m. game includes a popular Cougars gnome giveaway for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Provena Mercy Medical Center.

The first 1,500 fans attending this Sunday’s 1 p.m. game will receive a Cougars gnome, courtesy of Provena Mercy Medical Center.

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.

Giving back: The Cougars will welcome representatives from Chicago Glaucoma Consultants and the Geneva Eye Clinic to this Saturday’s game. The Cougars will be donating a portion of August’s in-game charity proceeds, along with a charitable match by the organization, to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Before that evening’s 6:30 p.m. game, fans can receive a screening and information on glaucoma, a slowly-progressive disease that affects over 40 million people worldwide with a painless loss of sight in most cases. On Sunday, Cougars staff will welcome Misericordia to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark for an on-field check presentation from July’s in-game charity proceeds, along with a charitable match from the Cougars organization. Misericordia, located in Chicago, is recognized as one of the nation’s leading communities for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Team News: Entering play on Wednesday, Wednesday, the Cougars (29-28) trail first place Clinton by 7 games in the Western Division race, and trail Burlington by 3 games for the second half wild card spot with 13 games remaining. The Cougars host Burlington for a critical 4-game homestand beginning Saturday. The Cougars’ overall record is 63-64; 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. Pitcher Kellen Moen is 4th in the Midwest League with 110 strikeouts. Outfielder Chris Elder hit a grand slam on Monday and is batting .308 in 7 games as a Cougar. Infielder Yowill Espinal was promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on August 18. Pitcher Kyle Zimmer, the 5th overall pick of the Royals in June’s draft, has a 2.43 ERA in 6 starts. The other Cougar from this summer’s draft, pitcher Andrew Triggs, has a 1.07 ERA in 16 appearances. Pitcher Aaron Brooks is one win away from becoming the 28th pitcher in franchise history to win 10 or more games in a single season. No Cougars pitcher reached the mark last season and the most recent was Dan Straily (’10), who made his major league debut with Oakland earlier this month. No pitcher has won 12 or more games since Ryan Ford went 14-7 in 2005.  Infielder Justin Trapp is 10 RBI away from reaching 50 RBI for the season. Jorge Bonifacio, Danny Mateo and Michael Antonio have all reached the 50 RBI mark this season. Two Cougars reached the mark last season (Cheslor Cuthbert, Brian Fletcher).

Cougars outfielder Chris Elder is off to a hot start since joining the team earlier this month.

Alumni News:  Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01) recently cracked the 100 RBI mark for the 9th straight season. Cabrera’s 105 RBI leads Major League Baseball; Cabrera is 2nd in the American League with a .328 average and has also belted 30 or more home runs for the 6th straight season. Boston infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) has crept into the A.L. Top 10 with a .304 batting average. Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham (’00-’01) recently surpassed 30 home runs for the first time in his career. Willingham is 9 RBI away from reaching 100 RBI for the first time in his career. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) has 15 wins, the most in a single season for the right-hander since 18 wins with the New York Yankees in 2008.  Oakland infielder Jemile Weeks (’08) was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento this week, as was pitcher Dan Straily (’10), who picked up his first major league victory earlier this month. Arizona pitcher Trevor Cahill (’07) is still stuck on 9 wins; his last victory came on July 30. Cahill is hoping to reach the 10-win mark for each of his first 4 big league seasons. Arizona teammate and Cougars teammate Sam Demel (’07) was recently promoted from Triple-A Reno, and pitched in relief on Tuesday night for the Diamondbacks. Demel made his big league debut in June 2010 with Arizona.  Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier (’03) is batting .275 – his lowest average since mid-May. San Diego catcher John Baker (’03) has played in 52 games with the Padres this season. Other Cougars on San Diego this season include pitcher Huston Street (’04) and outfielder Mark Kotsay (’96). Former Cougars radio broadcaster Jeff Hem (’05-’11) is finishing the home stretch on his first season as broadcaster at Triple-A Nashville (Milwaukee). The Sounds are currently 61-70 and feature a former Cougar on their roster in pitcher Claudio Vargas (’99).

Outfielder Brian Fletcher (’11), who was named Cougars Player of the Year last season, has 9 home runs at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.  Pitcher Matt Ridings (’12) is 6-1 with a 2.12 ERA at Class-A Advanced Wilmington. Infielder Orlando Calixte is batting .279 at Wilmington since receiving a promotion from the Cougars in June. Infielder Cheslor Cuthbert (’11) leads Wilmington with 56 RBI. Pitcher Travis Banwart (’07-08) is 8-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 30 appearances at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). Pitcher Tyson Ross (’08) is 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA at Sacramento. Infielder Dusty Coleman (’09) leads Double-A Midland (Oakland) with 14 home runs; fellow infielder Anthony Aliotti (’10) leads Midland with 70 RBI and a .292 average.  Pitcher Ian Krol (’10) was recently promoted to Midland, and has made 4 relief appearances. Infielder Conner Crumbliss (’09-’10) belted 3 home runs and drove in 7 runs on August 16. Crumbliss, who holds the Cougars’ single-season record for most walks, has a .413 on-base percentage this season for Midland. Catcher Max Stassi (’10) has hit 15 home runs and driven in 45 RBI for Class-A Advanced Stockton (Oakland). Outfielder Corey Brown (’08) is 5th in the International League with 23 home runs for Triple-A Syracuse (Washington). (statistics through games played on 8/21)

Saturday 8/25        Burlington Bees (Oakland Athletics farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

Cougars baseball caps for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Tuffy Auto Service Centers
Autograph session with Cougars players at 6 p.m.
Pre-game check presentation with Glaucoma Research Foundation
Pre-game complimentary glaucoma screenings
Color Guard – Cub Scout Pack 5
National Anthem – Naperville Men’s Glee Club
In-game entertainment by Birdzerk
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Fox Valley Marathon
Post-game fireworks show (Coldplay music theme)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 8/26           Burlington Bees
1 p.m. (gates open at 12 p.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

Cougars gnomes for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Provena Mercy Medical Center
Sunday Funday – free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark
Live organ music by Nancy Faust
Pre-game performance by Kim’s Black Belt Academy
Autograph session with Cougars players at 12:30 p.m.
Pre-game check presentation with Misericordia
Color Guard – Addison Fire Protection District
National Anthem – Melodeers Chorus
Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 8/27          Burlington Bees
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)
Pre-game performance by the West Aurora High School Blackhawk Marching Band
National Anthem – West Aurora High School Blackhawk Marching Band
Fans can run the bases after the game

Tuesday 8/28         Burlington Bees
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
Color Guard – Knights of Columbus 2191
National Anthem – Steve Van Oss
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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