Sports & Recreation
Governor Quinn Opens 2013 Illinois State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brooke Anderson   
Monday, 12 August 2013 07:49

Family-Friendly Agricultural Showcase Features Entertainment and Activities for Everyone and Highlights “Our Illinois”

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today officially opened the 2013 Illinois State Fair, the start of the annual agricultural celebration that features a wide variety of family-friendly activities along with food, racing, music and carnival rides. The “Our Illinois” fair theme was introduced at today’s Main Gate ribbon cutting as the Governor was joined by people from all parts of the state to welcome the world to the ten-day event.

“The State Fair is an Illinois agricultural and entertainment tradition, with something for everyone and featuring the best from our state’s number one industry,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage everyone across Illinois to come to Springfield over the next week and a half to sample the sights, sounds and tastes of the fair.”

New features at this year’s fair include the Budweiser Clydesdales, who will parade through the fairgrounds every day at 4 p.m. and stay in the Gate 2 area the rest of the day; the Happy Hollow “Concert on the Hill” series, live at 5:30 p.m. daily; the Conservation World “Puddle Duck” races August 17 that challenge kids to make and race their own toy boats; a CrossFit team competition August 10; and the return of the popular Cheer Classic cheerleading competition August 17.

This year’s Grandstand concert lineup includes Billy Currington, REO Speedwagon, Styx, John Mayer, The Band Perry, Toby Keith, Ke$ha, and Journey. The Grandstand will feature two free concerts as well, one by New Odyssey and the Illinois Army National Guard 144th Army Band August 12 and another by local high school show choirs August 15. The fair also offers a wide variety of free entertainment – from magic shows to musical acts – on 14 stages throughout the fairgrounds.

The Governor’s Tent features a children’s area hosted by the Illinois State Museum that will give kids a chance to explore what prehistoric Illinois looked like before settlers arrived. Local foods and food products from throughout the state will be featured in the tent as part of the “Where Fresh Is” campaign, an effort aimed to promote the purchase of Illinois-produced fruits and vegetables. Kids can get photos taken with construction equipment in an area that promotes state construction projects, and the state’s tourist attractions and downtowns will be highlighted as well.

The Governor’s Tent is open daily during the fair.

For a complete listing of daily activities at the 2013 Illinois State Fair, “Our Illinois,” visit or call (217) 782-6661. The fair runs from Aug. 8 – 18, 2013.


News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Monday, 12 August 2013 07:42

Quad Cities remains one-half game behind Cedar Rapids in second-half Western Division standings

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AUG. 8, 2013) – Quad Cities River Bandits right-hander Vincent Velasquez struck out seven batters in six shutout innings, while first baseman Bobby Borchering and third baseman Rio Ruiz each had two of the team's five total hits in a 2-1 win over the Clinton LumberKings in front of 4,767 at Modern Woodmen Park Thursday night.

For a third straight start, Velasquez (9-4) pitched at least six innings, struck out seven batters and earned the win. In his last 19 innings, he has allowed nine hits, five walks and one run. He allowed four hits and two walks Thursday, while raising his league-best strikeout total to 123. The victory kept Quad Cities (28-17 second half, 66-48 overall) one-half game out first place in the Western Division.


With the game scoreless in the bottom of the second inning, Borchering hit the first pitch he saw from right-hander Rigoberto Garcia (0-4) down the first-base line for a double. Ruiz followed with a double to right-center field that scored Borchering. But Garcia then retired 17 of the next 22 batters, allowing just two more hits and three walks. He completed seven innings for the first time with Clinton, allowed just four hits and two walks, and struck out four batters.


Velasquez followed two-out doubles in the second and third innings with strikeouts, and he got an inning-ending fielder's choice after a two-out single in the fourth. In the sixth, he faced his deepest trouble, as LumberKings designated hitter Dario Pizzano doubled with one out, and catcher Marcus Littlewood walked. But Velasquez fanned the next two batters to strike out the side and preserve the 1-0 lead.


Following Velasquez, right-hander Zach Morton made his Midwest League debut by allowing leadoff singles by right fielder Gaby Guerrero and left fielder Alfredo Morales in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. In the seventh, he got a strikeout and two groundouts. In the eighth, he induced a double play and flyout to end the threat. Clinton (22-24, 55-60) left a runner at second base four times in the first eight innings without moving a single one to third.


In the bottom of the eighth, River Bandits second baseman Tony Kemp walked against right-hander Mark Bordonaro, went to second on a flyout, to third on a groundout and scored on Borchering's two-out single up the middle. With a 2-0 lead, right-hander Juan Minaya started the ninth inning by allowing a home run by third baseman D.J. Peterson before retiring the next three batters for his eighth save.


Thursday's victory also means The Captain's Table at 4801 River Drive in Moline will offer The Captain's Table Victory Discount on Friday, Aug. 9. Anyone who mentions the River Bandits victory can receive a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two lunches or dinners with beverages on Friday, Aug. 9.


The River Bandits will play the rubber match of the three-game series Friday at 7 p.m. against the Clinton LumberKings. River Bandits right-hander Chris Devenski (1-2) will face LumberKings left-hander Scott DeCecco (9-7).

News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Gale McClean   
Friday, 09 August 2013 13:17

The Quad City Wolfpack semipro football team is playing the Omaha Outlaws at Augustana College Ericson Field located in the far northeast corner of the Augustana College campus in Rock Island, IL this Saturday, August 10th at 7:00 p.m. The Wolfpack’s record is 6 – 1 this season. This is their last home game before the playoffs begin.

Tim Dwight is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver and return specialist in the NFL for ten seasons. He played college football for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, and was a two-time All-American. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Falcons, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Oakland Raiders of the NFL. Dwight is often remembered for his 94-yard touchdown return on a kickoff in Super Bowl XXXIII against the Denver Broncos.

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Friday, 09 August 2013 12:46

Third baseman wins club's Player of the Month, promoted right-hander wins Pitcher of the Month

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AUG. 7, 2013) – Third baseman Rio Ruiz is the Quad Cities River Bandits Player of the Month for July, and right-handed pitcher Jordan Jankowski is the team's Pitcher of the Month, the Houston Astros announced on Tuesday.

The Houston Astros Player Development Department named a Pitcher and Player of the Month at each of their eight minor league affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.

Ruiz, the Astros' fourth-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, had his best month of the season with a .279 batting average, three home runs and a team-high 15 RBIs in 23 games at third base. The 19-year-old Covina, Calif., native had seven multi-hit games, six doubles and one triple for a .477 slugging percentage during July. Until July 20, he had a 26-road-game on-base streak that is currently tied for second longest in the Midwest League this season. Through Monday, Ruiz was second on the team with eight home runs and third with 47 RBIs and a .399 slugging percentage.

Jankowski, the Astros' 34th round pick in 2012, posted a 1.86 ERA while walking just one batter in six outings spanning 19 2/3 innings in July. The McMurray, Pa., native's 0.72 walks-plus-hits-per-inning-pitched (WHIP) was the best among River Bandits pitchers who threw at least eight innings in the month. Earlier this season, Jankowski was named a Midwest League All-Star. The 24-year-old was promoted on Monday to advanced Class-A Lancaster after going 3-1 in 26 games, including 12 starts for Quad Cities. He threw 89 2/3 innings and was ranked fourth in the Midwest League with a 2.61 ERA. His 1.07 WHIP on the season was also third best in the league.

Below is a list of the Players and Pitchers of the Month this season for Quad Cities:

Month Player Pitcher

April Teoscar Hernandez Vincent Velasquez

May Carlos Correa Lance McCullers

June Carlos Correa Colton Cain

July Rio Ruiz Jordan Jankowski

Through Monday, every Astros minor league affiliate has a .500 or better record, and they are a combined 369-270 for a .577 winning percentage – the best among any organization's minor league system. Five affiliates - Triple-A Oklahoma City, Double-A Corpus Christi, advanced Class-A Lancaster, short-season Class-A Tri-City and rookie-level Greeneville were each in or tied for first place in their respective divisions through Monday. Corpus Christi and Lancaster have already clinched playoff spots with first-half division titles.

UP NEXT: Modern Woodmen Park is a nominee for the "Best Minor League Ballpark" in the 2013 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, and fans can vote once per day at until the winner is announced Aug. 14. The River Bandits return to Modern Woodmen Park Wednesday, Aug. 7. Single-game tickets are on sale at the River Bandits box office at Modern Woodmen Park, by phone at 563-324-3000 and online at Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is planned for next spring, along with a carousel and other new games and attractions. This season, the team just unveiled a new 300-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, a Mediacom Frog Hopper, and a number of new bounce houses . The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans can see the first team in Minor League Baseball history with back-to-back No. 1 overall draft picks - 2012 top pick Carlos Correa and 2013 top pick Mark Appel, as well as 2012 first-round draft choice Lance McCullers. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, the second half of this season is one every fan will not want to miss!


News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Friday, 09 August 2013 12:07

The home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, Modern Woodmen Park is the oldest ballpark used continuously by a current Minor League Baseball team for at least 50 years.

It is in the running for “Best Minor League Ballpark” in the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. Voting continues until noon EDT Monday, Aug. 12, with the winner to be announced Wednesday, Aug. 14.

A link to vote is available at

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