Red Sox boost Kickham up to the majors

Lee Ann Murphy
Community Editor
Former Crowder College baseball player is shown here during this year's spring training. USA Today Sports photo.

Springfield native and southpaw pitcher Mike Kickham, who played for both the Crowder College baseball Roughriders and for the Missouri University Bears, and who joined the Red Sox player pool earlier last December has moved up to the major leagues as a Boston Red Sox pitcher.

Kickham is the 12th pitcher for the Sox this season.

The Red Sox added three players to their active roster prior to Monday's trade deadline.

Kickham, 31, appeared in 14 major-league games (10.98 ERA) with the Giants in 2013 and 2014 and has since bounced around with the Mariners, Rangers and Marlins. The Red Sox signed him to a minor-league deal over the winter.

Kickham attended Crowder College and Missouri State before the Giants took him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He spent parts of four seasons in the Giants’ system before being called up to the majors for the first time in 2013. In 14 games (three starts) in 2013 and 2014, Kickham posted a 10,98 ERA in 30 ⅓ innings. He has spent time with the Cubs, Mariners, Rangers, Marlins and Giants (again) since being cut after the 2014 season and joined the Red Sox on a minor-league contract in December.

Kickham is expected to take the mound for the finale of the three game series against the Atlanta Braves this week. Kickham has 14 big league appearances, with 30.1 innings pitched. with the last of those in 2014.

Kickham was a standout at Springfield's Glendale High School before playing at Crowder for a year in 2009. At Crowder Kickham went 3-3 with a 5.62 ERA, fanning 47 batters in 41 innings.As a senior at Glendale, Kickham pitched to a 1.16 ERA with 65 strikeouts and hit .390 as an outfielder, earning all-conference recognition at both positions. The southpaw pitcher was also an all-Ozarks and all-district selection and the 2008 Springfield Leadoff Club MVP. After Crowder, Kickham played for the Bears at Missouri University where he had Kickham had a 4–9 record with a 5.25 ERA and 103 strikeouts, in 96 innings spanning 15 games.

Kickham is one of three former Crowder baseball players who have reached major league play. The other two are Sam Hilliard, an outfielder with the Colorado Rockies and Jalen Bees, pitcher for Tampa Bay Rays.