A Swift Current Minor Baseball graduate is continuing his rise through the ranks.

Last week pitcher Dawson Schultz committed to the University of Pikeville for the 2024-25 campaign to play in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The right-hander received some interest from several schools south of the border and came close to selecting one in Arkansas before the offer from Pikeville was tabled.

"Pikeville is up and coming right now," he said. "They were ranked last week 22 for NAIA but the scholarship is also a big help for me there.

"Offered me pretty much everything, I was pretty surprised I got that, it's just amazing."

Schultz is already looking forward to the warmer weather eastern Kentucky will offer him and if he performs well as a starting pitcher, it could be a springboard stop for him.

"They have, I'm not sure how many guys they've had move onto Division 1 baseball but they have a lot of scouts come out each weekend to watch guys play so it is pretty exciting," he said.

He has three years of eligibility and will be enrolling in exercise science under general studies.

"My dream is to be a coach one day but if that doesn't pan out then I have that exercise science to fall back on for sports," he said.

The Swift Current product is in his second year at Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge playing for the Dawgs varsity team. In his rookie season, the 6-foot-2 starter went 1-4 across eight starts with a 2.88 earned run average and 45 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. 

Their season begins this weekend with four games against the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack in Kamloops. Schultz will begin the season on the shelf, however.

"Ankle and then last weekend in Oregon I hurt my elbow a little bit," he said.

The Lethbridge Bulls have recruited Schultz for the upcoming WCBL season ending a streak of well over a decade plus wearing the Swift Current 57's jersey across multiple levels.

"I love playing for the 57's and maybe hope to next year," he said. "I just wanted a year off to see something different and my coach here at PBA is the coach for the Bulls. Last year they wanted me to play, and I didn't, so I thought I would give it a chance."

Schultz played for his hometown in the WCBL last year appearing in 12 games making nine starts compiling a 7.75 earned run average, striking out 35 batters across 36 innings pitched.