Making his first start at the AAA level as he continues his ascent to the Major Leagues, Maple Hill graduate Jaime Schultz held his own on Saturday night.

Pitching for the Durham Bulls, Schultz went 4.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs. He struck out seven as the Bulls beat the Charlotte Knights, 3-2.

Schultz had just one walk and allowed five hits. His control has plagued him at times in the minors, but he pulled a 47-33 strike-to-ball ratio in his opening start. Eighty pitches in the fifth inning is too much, but especially early in the season as pitch counts are closely monitored. Schultz led the Southern League (AA) in strikeouts a season ago so high pitch counts often come with his starts.

I expect Schultz to stay at AAA most of the year, but if he has a good season, he could receive a call-up in September. One way or the other, he'll be with the big club eventually.