Key closer in Tu­atara lineup

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a win and post­ing an ERA of 2.0.

He played one post sea­son game that year, but in 2015 was sent down to the mi­nors and his ca­reer was de­railed by a shoul­der in­jury.

At 31 and nearly three years since he last threw a pitch in a game, Holdzkom is hav­ing an­other crack at be­ing a pro­fes­sional base­ball player.

‘‘I’m pretty ex­cited to see what I can still do,’’ Holdzkom told Stuff. ‘‘There are lit­tle but­ter­flies of course, but I’ll go out there and see what I’ve got.’’ Holdzkom spent two months in the States pre­par­ing to play again and has been in Auck­land the past fort­night train­ing with the team.

He said he jumped at the chance to play for the Tu­atara when he was ap­proached ear­lier this year.

Tu­atara man­ager Steve Mintz says he’s look­ing to have Holdzkom com­ing in late in games to pro­tect a win.

It could be tough to throw him into that high pres­sured sit­u­a­tion so early in his come­back, but Mintz says he has been im­pressed with how he’s been throw­ing in prac­tice.

‘‘When­ever he’s come in he’s been throw­ing strikes and in live bp (bat­ting prac­tice) he’s been go­ing well,’’ Mintz said.

‘‘He says he feels great and we’re go­ing to try to use him at the end of games.

‘‘We’d re­ally like not to throw him into the fire, but on Fri­day if we’ve got a lead and he’s our guy, we’ll put him in there.’’

The four-game se­ries against Syd­ney is the Tu­atara’s fi­nal home stand this sea­son and if they can win three of the games, it will put them at .500 and ahead of the Blue Sox in the North East divi­sion stand­ings in the ABL.

‘‘That was our goal when we started this thing,’’ Mintz said.

‘‘If we could get through these first four weeks, with three home stands and the long trip to Perth right off the bat, and be some­where around .500, I liked our chances.

‘‘We’ve got that at our dis­posal, we can take care of that and be around .500.’’

The first game of the se­ries, against the Blue Sox is at 3pm to­mor­row at Mcleod Park, West Auck­land, and will be live streamed on Stuff.

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