Entering a new week late in the season, former Crowder and current Single-A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks (Colorado) right fielder Sam Hilliard remains the California League leader in RBI.

Entering a new week late in the season, former Crowder and current Single-A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks (Colorado) right fielder Sam Hilliard remains the California League leader in RBI.
Just barely.
After 108 games played and 431 at-bats this season, Hilliard drove in 75 runs behind 129 hits, 19 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs, and 39 walks.
Hilliard owned a single RBI lead over the Stockton Ports’ Seth Brown entering Monday.
It’s been another strong professional season for Hilliard, a 15th round selection of the Rockies in the 2015 MLB Draft out of Wichita State, Hilliard’s collegiate destination after Crowder for one season.
Hilliard also has 32 stolen bases in 44 attempts and thrown out seven runners from the outfield (four left, three right) this season.
Hilliard earned his second midseason all-star nod, one for the JetHawks and his first for the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League.
In addition to the league lead in RBI this season, Hilliard ranks second in at-bats, third in games played, fourth in runs scored, fifth in hits, tied for eighth in triples, eighth in homers, third in stolen bases, and eighth in slugging percentage.
Hilliard, who’s played nearly 300 games over his pro career, reached 200 career RBI with his last RBI and his next stolen base marks 75 for his career.
The left-handed slugger closes in on his career highs established last season, including 17 home runs and 83 RBI for the Tourists. Hilliard already eclipsed his 30 stolen bases from last season.

Kickham earns first win with Baby Cakes
Responding well to adversity marks the sign of a good athlete.
Former Crowder and current Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes (Miami) pitcher Mike Kickham certainly responded well to adversity Sunday in his start against the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego), allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits over six innings.
Kickham struck out four, walked two, and surrendered a home run over his time on the mound, and he earned his first win for the Baby Cakes since his promotion from the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on July 19.
In four games and three starts with New Orleans, Kickham stands at 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA and 17 strikeouts and four walks over 17 1/3 innings.
Kickham, who earned Southern League midseason all-star honors for the Jumbo Shrimp, earned a 5-7 mark with a 3.33 ERA and 86 strikeouts and 16 walks over 97 1/3 innings.
Kickham crossed 100 strikeouts for the season on Sunday, giving the sixth round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2010 his fourth season with at least 100 Ks.
Kickham’s not the only player with MLB experience on the Baby Cakes roster — former Kansas City postseason hero Christian Colon, second baseman Steve Lombardozzi (son of former MLB player Steve Lombardozzi), and pitcher Daniel Schlereth (son of former NFL player Mark Schlereth) are Kickham’s Baby Cake teammates.

Schwaab earns first win with Trenton
In his fifth appearance with the Double-A Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees), former Crowder pitcher Andrew Schaab earned his first win as a member of the Thunder.
Schwaab pitched two scoreless innings on the heels of Cody Carroll blowing a save, with one strikeout, no walks, and one hit over Schwaab’s time on the mound.
Schwaab — a midseason all-star for the Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League — owns a 1-0 record with a 5.40 ERA for the Thunder, his ERA on the decline since he allowed three earned runs in his Thunder debut.
Overall, this season, between Double-A Trenton and Single-A Advanced Tampa, Schwaab stands at 5-2 with a 4.20 ERA and 40 strikeouts and 15 walks over 45 innings.
An undrafted free agent in 2015 out of Missouri (where Schwaab pitched after Crowder), Schwaab owns a 11-4 career record with a 2.95 ERA and 32 saves in 39 opportunities with 133 strikeouts and 42 walks over 122 innings.

Clark still enjoying strong season
Former Crowder and current Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami) pitcher Ethan Clark gave consecutive solid performances in his last three starts, but took consecutive no-decisions despite allowing only two earned runs over 13 innings.
Walks, however, have been a bit of an issue for Clark over his last three starts, including three walks in each of his last two starts. Walks bring up pitch counts and higher pitch counts reduce innings pitched for any pitcher.
As it stands on the season, Clark owns a 5-3 overall record with a 2.83 ERA and 86 strikeouts and 35 walks over 86 innings.
Clark made his first 12 appearances this season for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in the Tampa Bay organization, where he finished with a 3-2 record and a 3.11 ERA.
Arguably, Clark’s pitched even better since being traded to the Grasshoppers, where he stands at 2-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 36 strikeouts and 17 walks over his first 31 innings.
Clark recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts on July 20 for the Grasshoppers, breaking his previous high standard of nine set in his final start for the Hot Rods.
Clark, who struggled miserably in his first pro season in 2015, has made progress his last two seasons and he joined outfielder Braxton Lee in the trade from the Rays to the Marlins for MLB shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
Lee — playing for the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, where he was teammates with former Crowder pitcher Mike Kickham — entered the week leading the Southern League in hitting with a .316 clip (122 for 386).
Hechavarria, acquired more for his glove than his bat, hit .234 with no homers and six RBI, plus 25 strikeouts and six walks, in his first 32 games with the Rays.
Tampa Bay selected Clark in the 15th round of the 2015 MLB Draft straight out of Crowder.

Reyes takes another no-decision
Former Crowder and current Single-A Advanced San Jose Giants (San Francisco) pitcher Mark Reyes took a no-decision Sunday in his first start in August.
Reyes allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings against the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Reyes walked three and struck out two. The Giants broke a 2-all tie with three in the eighth and earned a 5-3 win.
Over his last 10 appearances, Reyes owns a 2-4 record with a 5.92 ERA, striking out 22 and walking 24 over 48 2/3 innings.
Reyes is 4-12 on the season with a 6.06 ERA and 50 strikeouts and 66 walks over 95 innings. This is by far his worst professional season — Reyes earned nine wins in each of the two previous seasons.
The Giants selected the southpaw Reyes in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft straight out of a Region 16 championship season for Crowder. Reyes signed with the Giants, breaking his commitment with Southern Mississippi, the Golden Eagles coached by Neosho native and former Crowder player Scott Berry.
In his first full pro season, Reyes earned an organization all-star for the Giants.

Wilson factors in first three appearances
In alternating fashion, former Crowder and current GCL Mets (New York) pitcher Kyle Wilson earned a save, a loss, and a win in his first three appearances.
Wilson recorded a save in his first appearance against the GCL Nationals (Washington), took a loss against those same Nationals, and earned a win Thursday against the GCL Astros.
Over his first three innings, Wilson allowed one hit, no earned runs, and he’s balanced four strikeouts against a single walk.
The Mets picked Wilson in the 35th round of the MLB Draft in June.
The GCL Nationals’ roster includes former Crowder teammate and Neosho High alumna Trey Turner, a 10th round selection of the Nationals out of Missouri State. Turner remains on the seven-day disabled list.

Other former Crowder players
Jalen Beeks, Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston): 9-5, 2.83 ERA, 20 games, 20 starts, one complete game, one shutout, 111 1/3 innings, 122 strikeouts, 42 walks, numbers accumulated between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket.
Connor Eller, Single-A Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto): 2-5, 4.32 ERA, 30 games, no starts, two saves, four save opportunities, 50 innings, 31 strikeouts, 32 walks. Eller appeared in 12 games for Single-A Advanced Dunedin.
Zach Matson, Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore): 0-0, 2.81 ERA, 11 games, no starts, 16 innings, 21 strikeouts, five walks.