PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Roughed up a little bit in his Triple-A debut, former Crowder and current Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher Jalen Beeks earned his first win since his recent call-up on Friday night against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays).

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Roughed up a little bit in his Triple-A debut, former Crowder and current Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher Jalen Beeks earned his first win since his recent call-up on Friday night against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays).
Beeks allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over the first six innings and he was as sharp as a tack in the zone Friday night, balancing eight strikeouts against just a single walk. Pawtucket came out with a 7-3 win.
Beeks struck out Roemon Fields looking to start the game and never looked back. He struck out Jason Leblebijian looking to end the first and then picked up two strikeouts in the second, one in the third, one in the fifth and two in the sixth.
All told, Beeks threw 105 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Overall this season, Beeks owns a 5-2 record with a 2.72 ERA and 61 strikeouts balanced against 24 walks over 56 1/3 innings split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket.
Beeks’ next win will give him 25 for his professional career that began in 2014 for the 12th round MLB Draft pick from Arkansas, his collegiate destination after Crowder.

Kickham pitches big for Jumbo Shrimp
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Crowder and current Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins) pitcher Mike Kickham showed some of the form that’s made him a Southern League all-star during Friday night’s 1-0 win over the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays).
Kickham came out ahead in a duel with Montgomery’s Fernando Baez, allowing no runs on four hits over seven innings. Kickham struck out three and walked none.
Kickham will represent the South Division in the June 20 all-star game at Pensacola’s Blue Wahoos Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds).
On the season, Kickham owns a 3-3 record and a 2.43 ERA in 11 starts for the Jumbo Shrimp. He’s struck out 61 and walked a mere 8 over 66 2/3 innings. That averages out to one walk approximately every 8 1/3 innings.
Kickham, a sixth round selection of the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 MLB Draft, reached the bigs in 2013 and 2014 with the Giants and produced a 0-3 record and a 10.98 ERA in 14 career appearances and three career starts. Kickham pitched at Missouri State after Crowder.
Previously, Kickham earned postseason all-star honors in 2012 with the Richmond Flaying Squirrels of the Eastern League.
His pitcher of the week award in late May with the Jumbo Shrimp gave Kickham his third such honor, following previous honors for the Flying Squirrels (2012) and the Fresno Grizzlies in the Pacific Coast League (2013), both teams in the Giants organization.

Hilliard on hot streak for JetHawks
LANCASTER, Calif. — Friday night proved to be a big night for former Crowder players in the professional ranks and Single-A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks (Colorado Rockies) right fielder Sam Hilliard contributed to Beeks’ and Kickham’s accomplishments with a home run and four RBI in the JetHawks’ 14-7 win over the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).
Hilliard’s three-run homer in the fourth helped Lancaster score six runs that inning and overcome a 6-4 deficit for a 10-6 lead the JetHawks would not surrender.
Hilliard continued his solid play at the plate with home runs Saturday and Sunday, and drove in four runs on Sunday.
“No doubt, it’s a lot of fun right now,” Hilliard said in an interview with’s Josh Jackson on Sunday. “I feel like I’m in a groove at the plate. It’s a matter of me not trying to do too much and sticking to my approach. I’m keeping my focus on driving the ball hard to the middle of the field.”
Hilliard is ranked the Rockies’ No. 26 top prospect.
The Rockies’ 15th round selection in the 2015 MLB Draft, Hilliard had recently been going through a tough patch at the plate … until the weekend against Inland Empire.
After 59 games, Hilliard owned a .313 average (70 for 224) with 44 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs, 49 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
Hilliard, who especially got off to a hot start this season, has ranked among California League leaders all season.
Hilliard ranks seventh in batting average, fourth in runs scored, fourth in triples, second in homers, second in RBI, second in stolen bases, seventh in on-base, second in slugging and second in OPS.

Eller now lobs ‘em for Lugnuts
Former Crowder and current Single-A Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) pitcher Connor Eller pitches in front of an interesting left side of the infield.
In his keynote speech at the JUCO World Series, former MLB all-star Dante Bichette mentioned two sons who are currently playing professional baseball. The youngest, Bo Bichette, plays shortstop for the Lugnuts.
At third base, it’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., son of Vladimir, nephew of Wilton and cousin of Gabriel.
The younger Bichette and younger Guerrero were both named Midwest League all-stars.
Eller, who went 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA earlier this season for Single-A Advanced Dunedin, has pitched two scoreless innings so far for the Lugnuts.
In his first pro season last season, Eller finished 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA for the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League.
The Blue Jays selected Eller in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft from Ouachita Baptist, where he pitched for two seasons after Crowder. Eller went 6-5 with a 3.40 ERA in 2016 and 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 2015 for the NCAA Division II Tigers.

Other Crowder players
Mark Reyes, Single-A Advanced San Jose Giants (San Francisco): 2-8, 6.04 ERA, 13 games, nine starts, 47 2/3 innings, 49 hits, 37 runs, 32 earned runs, 43 walks, 29 strikeouts.
Andrew Schwaab, Single-A Advanced Tampa Yankees (New York): 3-1, 4.70 ERA, 17 games, no starts, two saves, two save opportunities, 23 innings, 25 hits, 12 runs, 12 earned runs, six walks, 22 strikeouts.
Ethan Clark, Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays): 2-1, 2.93 ERA, 10 games, seven starts, 43 innings, 30 hits, 17 runs, 14 earned runs, 14 walks, 38 strikeouts.