Cougars’ Thursday League-Championship Series Game Will Be Supercharged With Emotion
The Kane County Cougars will return to Northwestern Medicine field Thursday for a game that promises to be one of the most exciting and emotional of the year.
Not only will the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate be on the razor’s edge of a three-game, do-or-die, winner-take-all quarterfinal series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but all the proceeds of the 50/50 raffle that night will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund — and the Kane County Cougars Foundation, Inc. will match dollar-for-dollar all proceeds raised by 50/50 raffle sales.
The game will either be a must-win to extend the series or a chance for the Cougars to continue their quest for the third league championship in franchise history.
Thursday’s scenario depends on the outcome of Game 1 on Wednesday night at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids. Game two will take place 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Northwestern Medicine Field, and a third “if necessary” game would also take place at home at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Minnesota Twins affiliate, have an overall record of 75-65 and are 36-34 in the second half of the season.
The Cougars, led by former Major League manager Butch Hobson, compiled a regular season record of 72-65 and were 33-37 in second half. Clinching the first half Western Division Championship, the Cougars finished third overall in the Midwest League with a team ERA of 3.35. Starter Sam McWilliams finished second overall in the Midwest League with an ERA of 2.84 while leading all Cougars pitchers with 11 wins and 98 strikeouts.
The Cougars went 9-8 against the Kernels during the regular season. If Kane County advances into the divisional championship round, they would face the winner of the Quad Cities/Peoria best-of-three-game series.
The Cougars will look to bring home their first Midwest League Championship since 2014. This marks the 16th playoff appearance in the 27-year history of the Cougars organization.
Thursday’s game will feature a playoff special that includes a $5 reserved seat ticket and a hot dog. Thirsty Thursday specials, presented by Miller Lite, will also be available with select beers, sodas and hot dogs just $1.
About the Kane County Cougars
The Cougars, Class-A Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been at the forefront of family-friendly entertainment since 1991. In 2015, the franchise became the first Class-A team in Minor League Baseball history to welcome 11 million fans through the gates. A total of 158 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues including Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Schwarber.