Homestand Preview: April 18-23

The Kane County Cougars, Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, open a six-game homestand Thursday evening against the Quad Cities River Bandits, a Houston Astros farm team. Homestand highlights include a magnetic schedule giveaway on Friday and Saturday’s games, and Ozzie’s Reading Club dates throughout the six-game home stretch. UPDATE – Garza is now expected to throw a simulated game in Milwaukee on Friday, instead of pitching at Kane County, as announced by the Cubs on Thursday. Tickets are available for each game on the upcoming homestand by calling (630) 232-8811 or by clicking HERE.

Thursday 4/18
Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros farm team)
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
National Anthem – St. Mary’s School (DeKalb)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Lincoln Elementary School (Wheaton)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Friday 4/19
Quad Cities River Bandits
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
2013 Season magnetic schedules for the first 1,500 fans, compliments of Country House
National Anthem – Wheatlands Elementary Honor Choir (Aurora)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Grace McWayne School (Batavia)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Saturday 4/20
Quad Cities River Bandits
1 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.)            WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

Heartland Blood Centers Blood Drive outside the stadium beginning at 11 a.m.
Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club Parade
2013 Season magnetic schedules for the first 1,500 fans, compliments of Country House
Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players
National Anthem – Patterson School Chorus (Naperville)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 4/21
Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals farm team)
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 with Cougars players
National Anthem – Kendall Elementary School Chorus (Naperville)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Owen School (Naperville)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 4/22
Peoria Chiefs
12 p.m. (gates open at 10 a.m.)          WBIG 1280 AM (11:45 a.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club Parade
Ozzie’s Reading Club Kids Day
High School Sports Business and Marketing Seminars (Downers Grove North, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville Central)
National Anthem – Jackson Concert Band (Villa Park)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by Parkwood School (Hanover Park)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Tuesday 4/23
Peoria Chiefs
11 a.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.) WBIG 1280 AM (10:45 a.m.)

Pre-game Ozzie’s Reading Club Parade
​Ozzie’s Reading Club Kids Day
National Anthem – Rotolo Middle School Choirs (Batavia)
Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Ozzie’s Reading Club is back: Ozzie’s Reading Club is back for its 19th year of promoting reading for Chicagoland youth. This season, the program includes 430 Chicago area schools and a total of 145,000 students who are improving their reading skills through Ozzie’s Reading Club. Participating students who complete reading goals set by teachers are rewarded with a ticket to a Cougars game, a food voucher, Ozzie’s Reading Club T-Shirt, and a chance to take the field for a pre-game parade. Ozzie’s Reading Club is sponsored by Presence Mercy Medical Center and Cantigny Park.

High School Sports Business Seminars: The Cougars’ High School Sports Business Seminars will take place before a total of 5 April and May weekday games this season.  The seminars, led by Cougars staff members, provide an inside look at the sports industry and give students a chance to enjoy a Cougars game. Schools attending this homestand include Downers Grove North, Naperville Central, Bolingbrook and Romeoville high schools.

Get a freebie: The first 1,500 fans through the gates at Friday’s and Saturday’s games will receive a 2013 Cougars magnetic schedule, courtesy of Country House, located just south of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark at the corner of Kirk Road and Fabyan Parkway.

The first 1,500 fans attending the Friday 4/19 and Saturday 4/20 games will receive a Cougars 2013 magnetic schedule.

The first 1,500 fans attending the Friday 4/19 and Saturday 4/20 games will receive a Cougars 2013 magnetic schedule, courtesy of Country House.

Team News: The Cougars (3-6) split a doubleheader in Wisconsin and continue their road trip this evening at Beloit…Rock Shoulders (.395) and Willson Contreras (.389) are ranked in the Midwest League’s top 10 in batting average…pitcher Felix Pena has not allowed an earned run in two starts – 11.2 innings of work.

Cougars infielder Rock Shoulders has been on a tear so far this season.

Cougars infielder Rock Shoulders has been on a tear so far this season.

Alumni News: Detroit Tigers infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01 Cougar) is tied for 2nd in the American League with 13 RBI…Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster (’96) has 25 strikeouts, 2nd-best in the A.L. Teammate Andrew Bailey (’07) has allowed one earned run in six relief appearances. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) is 2nd in the National League with a .409 batting average…Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) is tied for 1st in the N.L. with 27 strikeouts. Minnesota pitcher Jared Burton (’03) hasn’t allowed an earned run in five relief appearances.

Michael Antonio (’12) is batting .325 at Class-A Lexington (Royals), managed by last year’s Cougars skipper, Brian Buchanan. At Class- A Wilmington (Royals), pitcher Kyle Zimmer (’12) has a 1.64 ERA through two starts, while teammate Kyle Smith (’12) hasn’t allowed an earned run through two starts. Angel Franco (’11) is batting .455 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Royals). Anthony Aliotti (’10) is batting .395 at Double-A Midland (Oakland)…Jemile Weeks (’08) is batting .354 at Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland)…Corey Brown (’08) has 2 home runs in 9 games at Triple-A Syracuse (Toronto). (Statistics through games played on April 14)

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

Friday, April 19 from 5:45-6:45 p.m. – Hanover Park Little League
Saturday, April 20 from 8-9 a.m. – Central District Baseball League (Elgin)

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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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