Three different former Crowder pitchers made starts in the minor leagues on Sunday.
Single-A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays (Toronto) pitcher Connor Eller continued his recent roll in the starting rotation by pitching six shutout innings and he allowed a mere three hits. Eller struck out two and walked two during a winning performance against the Tampa Tarpons (New York Yankees).
Fellow former Crowder pitcher Andrew Schwaab threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Tarpons, allowing no hits and striking out one and walking none.
Single-A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami) pitcher Ethan Clark gave one of his best performances of the season during Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay), but nonetheless took a no-decision.
Likewise, Single-A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets) pitcher Kyle Wilson gave one of his better efforts this season and did not factor into the decision on “Black Panther Bobblehead Night.”
Clark allowed one earned run on seven hits over six innings and he struck out five and walked none. In arguably his two best performances this season, Clark took no-decisions.
Wilson allowed one earned run on four hits over 4 1/3 innings and he struck out three and walked four.
On the season, Eller owns a 5-2 record and a 3.56 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 17 walks over 48 innings. His recent string of solid starts brought his ERA below 4 after his one outing for Triple-A Buffalo in which Eller allowed five earned runs in just over an inning of work.
Schwaab owns a 3-6 overall record and a 5.35 ERA this season with two saves in four opportunities and 38 strikeouts and 21 walks over 33 2/3 innings. Schwaab has struggled this season — just look at those walk numbers — after earning consecutive midseason all-star honors two previous seasons.
Clark, who missed two months of the season due to injury, owns a 1-3 record and a 3.86 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 17 walks over 35 innings.
Wilson stands at 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA and 22 strikeouts and nine walks over 23 innings.
— In his 158th pro appearance, Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes pitcher Mike Kickham earned his first pro save.
That was just his second save opportunity for a career involving 127 starts.
Kickham’s save came Sunday as the Baby Cakes took on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Milwaukee).
Kickham allowed one run on three hits over three innings of work and he struck out two and walked none. Kickham has not issued a walk since June 15.
On the season, Kickham owns a 1-0 record and a 4.55 ERA with his one save and 26 strikeouts and six walks over 31 2/3 innings.
The San Francisco Giants picked Kickham in the sixth round of the 2010 draft.
— It had been a very rough start for Double-A Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado) right fielder Sam Hilliard after the all-star break.
In his first 11 at-bats after the break, Hilliard had no hits and seven strikeouts, and his averaged dropped into the .270s after standing at .285 at the break.
Hilliard singled on Sunday for his first hit of the second half and he now stands at .275 (77 for 280) for the season with 41 runs scored, 15 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 29 RBI, 27 walks and 94 strikeouts, and 20 stolen bases in 28 attempts.
Hilliard ranks second in the Eastern League in stolen bases with 20 and he trails only Bo Bichette (son of former MLB player Dante Bichette).
Hilliard was recently part of a profile on the Rockies’ farm system’s emphasis on base stealing, Hilliard standing out for his size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) and not being a prolific base stealer during his college days at both Crowder or Wichita State, where he stole 15 bases.
“I really didn’t even know how fast I truly was in college,” Hilliard said in the MiLB article. “I kind of just started to tap into that with the Rockies and they just kind of told me to go. I kind of realized that I had a little bit of speed and that’s kind of been working from there.”
Hilliard’s next stolen base gave him 100 for his professional career.
The Rockies picked Hilliard in the 15th round of the 2015 draft.
— Helena Brewers (Milwaukee) pitcher Aaron Ashby took his second loss in as many decisions in his pro career.
On Saturday, in relief, Ashby allowed five runs (all earned) on five hits over three innings and he struck out three and walked one.
Ashby remains seeking his first professional victory.
On the season, split between two starts and three relief appearances, Ashby owns a 0-2 mark with a 9.45 ERA and 15 strikeouts and seven walks over 13 1/3 innings.
The Brewers selected Ashby in the fourth round with the 125th overall pick in June.
— Former Neosho High and Crowder College standout Trey Turner registered his third straight three-strikeout relief appearance and fourth in his last five games for the GCL Nationals (Washington).
On Thursday against the GCL Astros, Turner had three strikeouts and two walks over 1 1/3 innings and he gave up three runs (two earned) on two hits.
With the GCL Nationals, Turner owns an 0-1 record with a 3.86 ERA and 14 strikeouts and seven walks over seven innings.
Turner made his first two appearances with Single-A Short Season Auburn.
The Nationals selected Turner in the 10th round of the 2017 draft and he made his professional debut one day after his 22nd birthday.