Rain delays the Cavalry's thunder
Rain and lightning delayed Saturday night's game by two-and-a-half hours. Photo: Graham Tidy
John Holdzkom sees his last outing as a one-off and is confident he will be back to his blistering best when he takes the Narrabundah Ballpark mound against the Perth Heat on Sunday.
After a 2½-hour rain delay caused by a massive thunderstorm, Saturday night's game finally got under way at 9.30pm and continued late into the night.
* To see how the Cavalry went in game three on Saturday night, click here.
John Holdzkom is out to atone for his poor last start against Perth. Photo: SMP Images
Regardless of the result, the Cavalry remained on top of the Australian Baseball League.
Holdzkom had a horror game against the Australian Baseball League reigning champions in Perth on New Year's Eve and this will be his first game since then.
The Canberra Cavalry starter could manage only one out, giving up eight runs, five walks and three hits before leaving the game in the first inning. He admitted it was a bad day in the office and joked he hoped to get more than one Perth batter out.
The US-born New Zealand international said he lacked focus, but was not sure why. He preferred to put the game behind him rather than use it as motivation for Sunday: ''I don't even want to think about or focus on the bad start, because it was so bad. I just try to approach tomorrow's game [and] focus, go out and pitch well regardless of my previous results.
Those kind of things happen from time to time … I'm not going to try any harder tomorrow, I've got confidence I can bounce back.''
Cavalry coach Michael Collins agreed it would be a different ''Big John'' staring down the Heat bats this time.
Collins spoke to the 25-year-old just like he would after every game, sticking to routine rather than changing anything for his 206-centimetre thrower.
''His outing in Melbourne, he was a completely different guy - his tempo was up, his energy was up, he made a lot more pitches that forced the hitters to swing … his power stuff,'' Collins said.
''I'm sure he's been sitting around for a week watching the offence, watching the other pitchers. I'm sure we'll expect another repeat performance of Melbourne or something similar.''
In Melbourne, Holdzkom pitched seven innings for no runs and six strikeouts as part of a shutout. He came to the ABL to try and attract a new Major League contract, but has not had any offers yet. If it doesn't work out, he planned to play in Holland this year, with teammate Kody Hightower providing him with contacts.
Meanwhile, Collins has laughed off the Cavalry being labelled ''Team USA'' on Twitter.
Heat third base Luke Hughes gave the Cavs the moniker on the social networking site during Perth's 10-1 loss on Thursday and Heat fans have taken it up.
Due to Canberra's small population and playing pool, the Cavalry have more imports than any other team in the ABL.
Collins said every team was bolstered by imports and he did not care what they called his table-topping team.
The Cavalry and Heat will play the fourth and final game of the series at Narrabundah on Sunday at 12pm.