Sports & Recreation
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Monday, 07 April 2014 09:05
Four players have multi-hit games for Quad Cities, but Kane County spoils home opener, 8-4

DAVENPORT, Iowa (April 3, 2014) – After scoring twice in the top of the first inning, the Kane County Cougars never lost the lead, as their pitchers combined to shut out the Quad Cities River Bandits over the last six innings in an 8-4 final in front of 1,821 at Modern Woodmen Park Thursday night.

Cougars center fielder Jake Hannemann lined the first pitch of the season from right-hander Andrew Thurman (0-1) back to the mound, and it deflected off Thurman for a leadoff infield single. After a one-out walk by designated hitter Ben Carhart, Cougars right fielder Yasiel Balaguert began his four-hit Midwest League debut with an RBI double to right field. An infield groundout by first baseman Jacob Rogers brought home Carhart for a 2-0 lead.

Quad Cities (0-1) started quickly in the bottom of the first against right-hander Paul Blackburn. Center fielder James Ramsay and right fielder Brett Phillips had back-to-back singles, but only Ramsay scored in an inning stifled by three groundouts.

With a 2-1 lead, Kane County (1-0) rallied again in the second inning against Thurman. Left fielder Trey Martin drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and advanced to third on the first of three throwing errors by River Bandits catcher Jobduan Morales. Cougars shortstop Carlos Penalver knocked in Martin with a single and Hannemann followed with another single. Second baseman Daniel Lockhart's sacrifice fly and Carhart's single brought home two runs for a 5-1 lead.

On a night when the River Bandits left a runner on base in every inning – and one in scoring position each of the first eight – their best rally came in the bottom of the third inning. Phillips hit a leadoff single and stole second base. With two outs, designated hitter Chase McDonald drove an RBI double to the right-center field gap. After left fielder Jon Kemmer singled, Austin “Catfish” Elkins laced a sharp ground ball down the first-base line to score McDonald and Kemmer to cut the lead to 5-4.

After Elkins' triple however, the Cougars pitching staff evaded trouble the rest of the night. Blackburn lasted four innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs. Left-hander Nathan Dorris (1-0) and right-hander James Pugliese each tossed two scoreless innings, and right-hander Jose Arias worked around a walk in the ninth inning to finish the Cougars' second Opening Day win the last three seasons at Modern Woodmen Park. The road team has won the two teams' Opening Day meetings three straight years.

The Cougars gained breathing room with single runs in the fourth, seventh and ninth innings against the River Bandits. Thurman allowed six runs – five earned – on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in a four-inning start. Right-hander Zach Morton worked a scoreless fifth inning, before left-hander Chris Lee and right-hander Tyler Brunnemann each had two-inning, one-run appearances.

Each team had 11 hits Thursday, but Quad Cities went 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Kaitlyn Robison named to Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Curtis Wech   
Monday, 07 April 2014 08:56

MILWAUKEE, WI (04/03/2014)(readMedia)-- Kaitlyn Robison of Andalusia, IL, a freshman at Wisconsin Lutheran College, has been named to the Warriors softball team.

Bill Curtis is in his third season as head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team. Last season, the Warriors tied a program record for wins with a 19-19 overall record and a 13-11 mark in the NACC. WLC also qualified for its first NACC Tournament since 2008. Curtis owns a career record of 32-46 and is 20-28 in conference play.

Wisconsin Lutheran College is an independent Christian college in Milwaukee that is recognized for its academic excellence and Christian leadership tenets. To learn more, please visit

Iowa State Fair Grandstand Tickets on Sale April 12 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 07 April 2014 07:42

DES MOINES, IA (04/03/2014)(readMedia)-- Tickets for the much-anticipated Iowa State Fair Grandstand shows will go on sale Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. through all Ticketmaster outlets. The 2014 line-up is presented by U.S. Cellular.

This year's line-up includes an array of performers including multi-platinum rock veterans Foreigner and Styx, alternative hard rock artists Chevelle and Halestorm and seven-time Grammy award-winning country trio Lady Antebellum.

Print at home discounted admission tickets are on sale now at Fairgoers can purchase gate admission tickets online and print their own tickets at no extra charge. Beginning April 12, Fairgoers can also purchase Fair Play Packs, Midway tickets, Zipline passes and 11-day punch cards online and have them mailed to them directly for a nominal fee.

Tickets for all concert and track events will go on sale Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or by phone at 800-745-3000. All concert events are reserved seating; track events are general admission. Beginning July 7, the Fair's Ticket Office will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday for walk-up orders only (assuming tickets remain; no mail, phone or fax orders). Convenience charges will apply to all tickets. Grandstand tickets do not include Fair admission. Gate admission must be purchased separately.

A complete listing of event dates, times and ticket prices follows:

2014 Iowa State Fair Grandstand Line-up

presented by U.S. Cellular

Thursday, August 7

Newsboys with special guest Matthew West, 8 p.m., $30

Friday, August 8

HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR 2014 starring THE TURTLES featuring FLO & EDDIE, CHUCK NEGRON formerly of Three Dog Night, Gary U.S. Bonds, MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS, GARY LEWIS & THE PLAYBOYS, 8 p.m., $25

Saturday, August 9

Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry with special guest Plain White T's, 8 p.m. $39

Sunday, August 10

Winged Sprint Cars, 10:30 a.m. Hot Laps, 11 a.m. Races, $15 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Sunday, August 10

The Stars of A&E's Duck Dynasty A Conversation with the Robertsons: Willie, Korie and Si, 8 p.m., $32

Monday, August 11

Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models, IMCA Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet Dirt Trucks, 5:30 p.m. Hot Laps, 6 p.m. Races, $17 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Tuesday, August 12

Florida Georgia Line with special guest Colt Ford, 8 p.m., $40

Wednesday, August 13

Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull, 2 p.m., $20 Adults, $10 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under. Sponsored by Iowa Farmer Today

Thursday, August 14

Jake Owen's Days of Gold Tour starring Jake Owen & Eli Young Band with special guest The Cadillac Three, 7 p.m., $40

Friday, August 15

Chevelle and Halestorm with special guest to be announced, 8 p.m., $35

Saturday, August 16

Demolition Derby: Modified Weld, Stock Weld and Compact Weld; Figure Eight: Front Wheel Drive and Rear Wheel Drive, 11:30 a.m., $15 adults, $5 children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Saturday, August 16

Lady Antebellum with special guests Billy Currington and Kelsey K, 8 p.m., $49

Sunday, August 17

Foreigner and Styx with special guest to be announced, 8 p.m., $39

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. Discounted gate admission tickets are on sale now through our convenient print at home ticket option at For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway Kicks Off Spring Season with New Promoters PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 04 April 2014 13:34

DES MOINES, IA (04/02/2014)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair Board is pleased to announce Midwest Racing Promotions as the newly named race promoters of the Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway. Track improvements are underway in preparation for the spring racing season's April 18 kick-off.

Midwest Racing Promotions is led by racing veterans Tony Moro, Eric Lundstrom and John Pat Dorrian. The group has already implemented several track renovations to boost the safety and excitement of their races. These improvements include over 150 truckloads of track resurfacing and improvements to the corner guard rails to allow for faster, safer racing.

The 2014 spring season will start with a practice race on Saturday, April 12. The practice is open to the public and will run from 1 to 5 p.m. The competitive season will begin on Friday, April 18, and continue every Friday evening through the championship races on August 1. The Fairgrounds track will feature fireworks on opening night as well as following a special race event on Thursday, July 3. Hot laps for all races will begin at 6:15 p.m. with races at 6:30 p.m.

This year's Fairtime Grandstand line-up will feature two Speedway events, including the debut of Winged Sprint Car races on Sunday, August 10, with hot laps at 10:30 a.m. and races at 11 a.m. The inaugural race will feature three classes including 305 Sprints, Hobby Stocks and Mods. The Deery Brothers Summer Series returns to the Grandstand on Monday, August 11, with hot laps at5:30 p.m. and races at 6 p.m. This year's races will feature Late Models, IMCA Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet Dirt Trucks. General admission tickets for Speedway Grandstand events will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, through all Ticketmaster outlets.

The Speedway has served as a longstanding Fair tradition since its construction began in 1884. With roots that date back farther than most Fairgrounds attractions, the track has offered a weekly summer tradition for generations of local families as well as an August highlight for many Fairgoing race fans.

The Speedway has hosted countless historic events including the 1940 world championship between Gus Shrader, Emory Collins, Ben Shaw and Jimmie Wilburn as well as Aldo Andretti's 1969 auto accident which preceded his early retirement. Today's Fairgrounds racers join the ranks of Speedway veterans A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Bobby Allison and more.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:13

Top four affiliates begin regular season play this Thursday

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston Astros have set their preliminary 2014 minor league rosters for four of their affiliates, Triple A Oklahoma City, Double A Corpus Christi, Class A Advanced Lancaster and Class A Quad Cities. The announcement was made by Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken.


These rosters are subject to change and will not be officially finalized until the minor league Opening Day. Rosters do not include Disabled List players.


Oklahoma City:



Jake Buchanan

Jose Cisnero

Paul Clemens

Bobby Doran

Darin Downs*

Mike Foltynewicz

Chia-Jen Lo

David Martinez

Collin McHugh

Rudy Owens*

Jason Stoffel

Nick Tropeano

Pat Urckfitz*

Josh Zeid


Ryan McCurdy

Carlos Perez

Max Stassi


Japhet Amador

Erik Castro*

Jonathan Meyer

Gregorio Petit

Jon Singleton*

Ruben Sosa#

Ronald Torreyes



Adron Chambers

Domingo Santana

George Springer

Austin Wates


* - denotes left-hander

# - denotes switch-hitter


Corpus Christi:


Travis Ballew

Colton Cain*

Luis Cruz*

Jorge De Leon

T.J. Geith*

Matt Heidenreich

Jordan Jankowski

Andrew Robinson

Brady Rodgers

David Rollins*

Ross Seaton

Tommy Shirley*

Alex Sogard*

Aaron West


Rene Garcia

Tyler Heineman#


M.P. Cokinos

Matt Duffy

Nolan Fontana*

Enrique Hernandez

Jio Mier

Joe Sclafani#



Andrew Aplin*

Delino DeShields

Chris Epps*

Leo Heras*

Preston Tucker*




Mark Appel

Jamaine Cotton

Chris Devenski

Michael Dimock

Josh Hader*

Mike Hauschild

Mitchell Lambson*

Lance McCullers

Juan Minaya

Daniel Minor

J.D. Osborne*

Tyson Perez

Kyle Smith

Vincent Velasquez

Kyle Westwood


Roberto Pena

Jake Rodriguez


Carlos Correa

Tony Kemp*

Brandon Meredith

Carlos Perdomo

Rio Ruiz*



Justin Gominsky

Dan Gulbransen*

Teoscar Hernandez

Jordan Scott*

Danry Vasquez*


Quad Cities:


Tyler Brunnemann

Patrick Christensen

Chris Cotton*

Kent Emanuel*

Michael Feliz

Evan Grills*

Jandel Gustave

Adrian Houser

Chris Lee*

Albert Minnis*

Zach Morton

Gonzalo Sanudo

Andrew Thurman

Andrew Walter



Brett Booth

Brian Holberton*

Jobduan Morales#



Austin Elkins#

Conrad Gregor*

Jack Mayfield

Chase McDonald

Chan Moon*

Tyler White



Jon Kemmer*

Tanner Mathis*

Brett Phillips*

James Ramsay*


Climbing the Charts:

Over the past two seasons, the combined record of the Astros minor league system has been the best in baseball (915-754, .548)...Houston set a franchise record when their top six minor league affiliates all qualified for the playoffs in 2013, and two clubs ended up winning championships (Class A Quad Cities, Class A Short Season Tri-City)...the Astros became the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the postseason since the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003...along with the Royals and Mariners, the Astros were one of three organizations to have multiple championship teams in 2013.


This Spring, the Astros minor league system was rated as the best in baseball by both and The Sporting News...Baseball America, who ranked the Astros system as the worst in baseball in both 2009 and 2010, tabbed Houston’s system as the fifth-best in the Houston prospects made the 2014 Top 100 Prospects list, which ranked tied for second among all 30 clubs...of the top 100 prospect lists put out by, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and, the following Astros prospects made at least one of those lists: SS Carlos Correa, RHP Mark Appel, CF George Springer, 1B Jon Singleton, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Lance McCullers, OF Delino DeShields, RHP Vincent Velasquez.


The accolades:

There were 25 Astros prospects who were named All-Stars in their respective leagues across all eight levels of the minors in 2013...CF George Springer hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases, becoming the first minor leaguer to reach the 30-30 plateau since Oakland’s Grant Desme in 2009...Springer was named Minor League Baseball’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Double A Texas League Player of the 18 years old, SS Carlos Correa was the second-youngest player in the Class A Midwest League but still led the league in OPS (.872) while finishing second in OBP (.405) and third in batting average (.320)...Correa led all Midwest League shortstops in fielding percentage.


Since Jeff Luhnow was appointed Astros General Manager in November of 2011, the Astros have acquired talent through the draft, trades and international signings...when looking at Baseball America’s top 30 Astros prospects, 17 were acquired during Luhnow’s current tenure with the club:

Through the Draft: SS Carlos Correa (#1), RHP Mark Appel (#3), RHP Lance McCullers (#5), 3B Rio Ruiz (#11), RHP Andrew Thurman (#15), OF Andrew Aplin (#19), SS Nolan Fontana (#20), LHP Kent Emanuel (#23), OF Brett Phillips (#30)

Via Trade: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (#10), C Max Stassi (#12), LHP Josh Hader (#14), LHP Kevin Chapman (#17), RHP Kyle Smith (#22), RHP Gonzalo Sanudo (#26), OF Danry Vasquez (#29)

International Signings: OF Leo Heras (#25)



Last year, the Astros minor league system led all 30 organizations in OPS (.731) and on-base percentage (.342) while finishing second in walks (3208), homers (611) and runs (4101)...on the pitching side, Houston’s minor league system ranked second among all 30 organizations in walks per 9.0 innings (3.1) and strikeout to walk ratio (2.53)...led by Domingo Santana (25 HR), George Springer (19 HR) and Max Stassi (17 HR), Double A Corpus Christi finished third in the minors with 158 homers...Class A Advanced Lancaster led all of the minors in runs, walks, OBP and OPS in 2013.


2014 breakdown - astros top 20 prospects by team:

- Triple A Oklahoma City (6): Jon Singleton (#2), George Springer (#3), Mike Foltynewicz (#6), Domingo Santana (#9), Nick Tropeano (#17), Max Stassi (#18)

- Double A Corpus Christi (2): Delino DeShields (#7), Nolan Fontana (#18)


- Class A Advanced Lancaster (9): Carlos Correa (#1), Mark Appel (#2), Lance McCullers (#5), Vincent Velasquez (#9), Rio Ruiz (#11), Teoscar Hernandez (#13), Josh Hader (#15), Kyle Smith (#19), Danry Vasquez (#20)

-Class A Quad Cities (2): Michael Feliz (#10), Andrew Thurman (#16)



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