Labor Day Weekend Homestand Preview, Alumni Report

Cougars infielder Rock Shoulders, along with the rest of the Cougars team and field staff, will wear commemorative Star Wars jerseys this Saturday. (Mary Beth Nolan)

By Shawn Touney / Kane County Cougars | August 29, 2013 7:34 AM ET

GENEVA, IL - The Kane County Cougars, Class-A farm team of the Chicago Cubs, conclude the 2013 season with a three-game homestand beginning Saturday against the Peoria Chiefs, a St. Louis Cardinals farm team. Homestand highlights include two nights with post-game fireworks shows, autograph sessions before all three games, and a Kids Eat Free Night on Sunday. Tickets are available for each game on the upcoming homestand by calling (630) 232-8811 or visiting

Saturday 8/31        Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals farm team)
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

  • Star Wars Night
  • Pre-game Star Wars costume parade at approximately 5:50 p.m.
  • Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 5:55 p.m.
  • National Anthem - Westminster Presbyterian Church (Aurora)
  • Presence Home Run for Life - Annie Prosser
  • Post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers
  • Post-game fireworks show
  • Fans can run the bases after the game

Sunday 9/1             Peoria Chiefs 
6:30 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (6:15 p.m.)

  • Kids Eat Free Night - all kids between the age of 3 and 10 will receive a voucher at the gates for a free hot dog and small soda
  • Sunday Funday - free kid-friendly entertainment inside the ballpark sponsored by Dave and Buster's
  • Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 5:55 p.m.
  • Books for the first 750 kids age 14 and under, courtesy of Scholastic
  • Baseball caps for the first 1,500 fans age 21 and older, courtesy of Miller Lite
  • National Anthem - Tony Gordon
  • Live organ music by Nancy Faust
  • Post-game fireworks show
  • Fans can run the bases after the game

Monday 9/2            Peoria Chiefs 
1 p.m. (gates open at 12 p.m.)    WBIG 1280 AM (12:45 p.m.)

  • Half-Price Monday sponsored by Meijer: $5 reserved seat tickets
  • Cougars koozies for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Quality Logo Products
  • Lions International Mobile Hearing Unit will be on site for free hearing/vision screenings
  • Pre-game autograph session with Cougars players at 12:25 p.m.
  • National Anthem - Penny Roman
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame - led by Lions District 1-J
  • Fans can run the bases after the game

Homestand Notes

Give it away: The first 1,500 fans age 21 and older attending Sunday's 9/1 game will receive a Cougars baseball cap, courtesy of Miller Lite. Also that evening, the first 750 children age 14 and under will receive a book, courtesy of Scholastic. Monday's 9/2 game will include Cougars koozies for the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Quality Logo Products.

Weekly specials: Sunday's 9/1 game is a Kids Eat Free Night with a free hot dog and soda voucher given at the gates to children age 3-10. Monday's 9/2 game is a Half-Price Monday with $5 reserved seat tickets, presented by Meijer.

Thinking ahead: Each fan attending this weekend's games will receive one reserved seat ticket voucher, valid for next spring's Opening Night on Tuesday, April 8. The Cougars will also pass out 2014 season magnetic schedules to the first 1,000 fans before each of the three games.

Lending a hand: The Cougars will welcome representatives from Family Counseling Service for a pre-game check presentation on Sunday. Family Counseling Service of Aurora, which offers behavioral healthcare, consumer credit counseling and other services, will receive a portion of the August 50/50 proceeds along with a charitable donation from the Kane County Cougars organization. Sunday will also be the final Pitch In for Charity tennis ball promotion of the season. Sponsored by Jersey Mike's, Pitch In for Charity proceeds will be donated to JDRF. The Cougars will also welcome Annie Prosser, who will participate in Presence Mercy Medical Center's Home Run for Life at Saturday's game.
Use the Force: The Cougars' Star Wars Night on Saturday will include Star Wars-themed fun for young and not-so-young fans of Star Wars. Fans are asked to dress as their favorite character and participate in a pre-game parade on the field which will start at approximately 5:50 p.m. The Midwest Garrison will pose for photos before and during the game. Various Star Wars contests will take place during the game and the Cougars team will wear commemorative Star Wars-themed jerseys. The evening culminates in a post-games Star Wars-themed fireworks show.

Team Notes

The Cougars (52-77, 22-41) continue the final road trip of the season this evening at Cedar Rapids. The season concludes on Monday, September 2. For the first time since 1998, the Cougars enter the season's final series with neither a playoff berth either in hand or to gain, and were officially eliminated from the playoffs last weekend. Infielder Jeimer Candelario is tied for 4th in the Midwest League with 34 doubles, tying him for 8th on the franchise's top 10 list for most doubles in a season. Candelario hit his 10th home run of the season on Tuesday. Ross Gload ('98) holds the franchise mark with 41 doubles. Four Cougars players have 40 or more RBI: Rock Shoulders (69), Candelario (54), Oliver Zapata (46) and Willson Contreras (43). Contreras is batting .467 in his last five games. Pitcher Jose Arias re-joined the club after spending much of the season on the disabled list. Arias pitched in two games this past April. Relievers Nathan Dorris and Stephen Perakslis have each made 35 appearances and both hold a 2.95 ERA. Infielder Dan Vogelbach, who was promoted to Class-A Advanced Daytona earlier this month, is batting .275 through 13 games. Daytona pitcher Pierce Johnson, who spent the first half of the season with Kane County, is 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA. Pitcher Armando Rivero has a 1.50 ERA in 4 games with Double-A Tennessee. 

Detroit infielder Miguel Cabrera ('01) is batting .357 with 43 home runs and 130 RBI. Cabrera leads Major League Baseball in batting average and RBI and trails Baltimore's Chris Davis by three home runs. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez ('01) is batting .291 with 17 home runs and 81 RBI. Houston catcher Max Stassi ('10) made his major league debut last week and recorded a two-hit game. Boston pitcher Andrew Bailey ('07) has made 30 appearances and holds a 3.77 ERA. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ronald Belisario ('02) has made 64 relief appearances. Arizona pitcher Trevor Cahill ('07) has won 2 of his last 3 starts since coming off the disabled list this month. San Francisco pitcher Santiago Casilla ('03-'04) is 5-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 40 appearances. Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett ('98) has a 3.18 ERA in 24 starts and teammate Vin Mazzaro ('06) is 6-2 with a 2.49 ERA out of the Pittsburgh bullpen. Washington rookie pitcher Ian Krol ('10) has made 27 appearances and holds a 3.24 ERA. San Diego pitcher Huston Street ('04) has 25 saves.

Pitcher Yordano Ventura ('11) is 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA at Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City). Pitcher Andrew Triggs ('12) was recently promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City) and has pitched scoreless relief in four appearances. Teammate Jorge Bonifacio ('12) is batting .301 through 25 games since his promotion to Double-A. Outfielder Brett Eibner ('11) has hit 18 home runs at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Pitcher Travis Banwart ('07-'08) won his 10th game of the season Tuesday evening for Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). Banwart has won 32 games at Sacramento since the 2010 season. Sacramento teammate Anthony Aliotti ('10) is batting .267 and infielder Jemile Weeks ('08) is batting .271 with 3 home runs and 39 RBI. The offensive power from Sacramento has mainly come from outfielder Michael Choice ('10), who is batting .300 with 14 home runs and 89 RBI. Outfielder Javier Herrera ('05) is batting .298 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI at Double-A Richmond (San Francisco). Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell ('07) is batting .298 in 41 games at Triple- A Rochester (Minnesota). Catcher Anthony Recker ('06) was recently sent to Triple-A Las Vegas (New York Mets) and is batting .400 through five games. 2011 Kane County Cougars Pitcher of the Year Greg Billo is 3-2 with a 1.07 ERA at Class-A Lexington (Kansas City). Pitcher Sam Demel ('07) has posted a 1.88 ERA in 33 relief appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees). (games played through August 27)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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