Around the Horn: Homestand Preview, Alumni Report

The Kane County Cougars, Class-A farm team of the Chicago Cubs, open a four-game homestand Tuesday evening and will welcome the Peoria Chiefs, a St. Louis Cardinals farm team. Homestand highlights include a pair of Ozzie’s Reading Club Kids Days on Wednesday and the first game Thursday morning of a split doubleheader, with the homestand finale taking place that evening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for each game on the upcoming homestand by calling (630) 232-8811 or by clicking HERE.

Tuesday 5/14         Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals 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 – Peter Gombert Elementary (Aurora)
–           Ozzie pencils for the first 1,500 kids age 14 and under
–           Take Me Out to the Ballgame – led by May Watts Chorus
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Wednesday 5/15    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
–           High School Sports Business and Marketing Seminars (Willowbrook, Bolingbrook, Wheaton North, Kaneland, Batavia, Hinsdale Central)
–           National Anthem – Mill Creek School (Geneva)
–           Color Guard – Steinmetz High School JROTC
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Thursday 5/16       Peoria Chiefs (Split Doubleheader; Game 1 at 11:30 a.m.)  Game 2 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
–           Ozzie pencils for the first 1,500 kids age 14 and under
–           National Anthem – JB Nelson (Batavia)
–           God Bless America – performed by D303 5th Grade Bands
–           Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Let’s Play Two: The Cougars and Peoria Chiefs will play a split doubleheader on Thursday. Game One, a make-up date from the April 23rd rainout, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Game Two of the doubleheader will take place at the originally scheduled start time of 6:30 p.m. A separate ticket is required for each game.

Ozzie’s 5K: The Cougars will host Ozzie’s Home Run and Walk 5K on Saturday, May 18. The event will begin at 8 a.m. as participants will start and end the race on the field at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The first 300 registrants will receive a Cougars drawstring bag. All participants will receive a complimentary post-race hot dog or brat, and participants 21 years old and up will receive a complimentary post-race beer. All participants can see themselves on the videoboard as they near the finish line and will get a high-five from Ozzie on the field. There are 14 separate age divisions including 3 kids age divisions. The top 3 finishers in each age division will win a commemorative Ozzie medal. Fans can register online at kccougars.com or racetime.info. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to Ozzie’s Outreach, the Cougars’ charitable arm that gives back to a variety of causes each year.

The 2nd annual Ozzie's Home Run and Walk 5K is set for Saturday, May 18 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

The 2nd annual Ozzie’s Home Run and Walk 5K is set for Saturday, May 18 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Team News: The Cougars (14-15) are in the midst of a six-game road trip against a pair of Western Division teams: Burlington and Clinton…infielder Rock Shoulders is 7th in the Midwest League with a .343 batting average, 2nd in slugging percentage (.593) and third in total bases (64). Shoulders was named the Chicago Cubs Organizational Minor League Player of the Month for April. Infielder Dan Vogelbach is tied with Shoulders for the team lead in RBI with 20. As a team, the Cougars are hitting .279, best in the Midwest League.  Pitcher Michael Heesch has worked at least 5 innings in each of his last three starts. Pitcher Felix Pena is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 5 games, four of which were starts. Outfielder/pitcher Bijan Rademacher is batting .667 in his last five games.

Alumni News: Detroit Tigers infielder Miguel Cabrera (’01 Cougar) is batting .381 with 6 home runs and 37 RBI. Cabrera leads the American League in RBI and is 2nd in batting average.  Boston pitcher Ryan Dempster (’96) has a 2.93 ERA. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez (’01) is 3rd in the National League with a .343 batting average. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett (’98) is 1st in the N.L. with 66 strikeouts. Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz (’03) is batting .270 with 7 home runs and 24 RBI. Arizona pitcher Trevor Cahill (’07) has a 2.80 ERA through 7 starts. Miami pitcher Ryan Webb (’05) has a 1.89 ERA in 13 relief appearances.

Outfielder and 2012 Kane County Cougars Player of the Year Jorge Bonifacio (’12) is batting .301 at Class-A Advanced Wilmington (Royals). Pitcher Kyle Smith (’12) is 1-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 6 starts at Wilmington and fellow Wilmington starter Kyle Zimmer (’12) is 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA. Pitcher Justin Marks (’10) is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Royals). Pitcher Yordano Ventura (’11) is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA at Northwest Arkansas and has struck out 10 batters in each of his last two starts. Infielder Anthony Aliotti (’10) is batting .366 at Double-A Midland (A’s). Midland teammate Jeremy Barfield (’09) has 8 home runs. Midland pitcher Murphy Smith (’09-‘10) is 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA in 7 starts. Outfielder Javier Herrera (’05) is batting .287 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI at Double-A Richmond (Giants). Pitcher Ian Krol (’10) has a 1.10 ERA in 12 appearances with Double-A Harrisburg (Washington). Pitcher Jason Ray (’06, ’09) has re-surfaced. Ray is with Triple-A Tucson (Padres) and has appeared in 5 games. Other former Cougars on Tucson include infielder Gregorio Petit (’05) and outfielder Travis Buck (’05). (Statistics through games played on May 8)

Former Cougar Yordano Ventura has been dazzling so far this season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, striking out 10 batters in each of his last two starts.

Former Cougar Yordano Ventura has been dazzling so far this season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, striking out 10 batters in each of his last two starts.

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

Saturday, May 11 from 9:30-10:30 a.m.  – Hope for Haitians 5K (Geneva)
Sunday, May 12 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. – ALS Association Event (Wheaton)

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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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