Ty Holm has reached a turning point in his baseball career.
The NWAACC-USA outfielder has completed his four years of college athletic eligibility and is debating whether to head back to Concordia University Irvine in California or head to Australia to begin his professional career.
"I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet," said Holm. "I'm going to try and play this baseball a little longer. I know it's pretty slim. I'm getting older and it's a tough grind to even get there and then it's three or four years before you even get a shot at the pros.
"It's definitely a dream and something I definitely want to do," he added. "Put me in the lowest part of your program and just give me a shot. I love the game and I don't want to give it up quite yet."
Before joining Team USA in Prince George for the 2013 World Baseball Challenge, the native of Marysville, Wash. (about 25 minutes north of Seattle), played with a Seattle collegiate team that won a 32-team double elimination tournament in Wichita, Kansas.
It wasn't the first time the 23-year-old experienced a championship, having transferred from Everett Community College to Concordia during the 2011 season when they won the national championship in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
"I got a ring with that and we just got a ring this last week," said Holm.
In his first three games at the WBC, Holm batted .364 in 11 at bats and had three stolen bases. In Monday's 9-3 win against Canada, he was 1-for-2 with a single, two walks and was hit by a pitch. He stole one base and scored a run.
"I'm hitting the ball well, but just right at people," said Holm. "I feel good about my approach and I feel good about my team's offensive approach."
Holm started the tournament playing in right field, but was in centre against Canada. He won't get another chance at a championship as the USA is 2-4 and will play Canada (0-5) again in the fourth place versus fifth place game (Wednesday, 3 p.m.) to see who will advance to the bronze-medal game.
"He can run and he has a very good arm and he can hit," said USA head coach Rick Skinner. "He's a very good all-around player. It'll be exciting to see what does transpire for him."
Holm was the leadoff batter during his final season at Concordia in 2013 and was fourth in the conference with an average of .355 and was 11th in slugging at .491. He produced 60 hits, including 10 doubles, two triples and three homeruns. He also had a 17-game hitting streak. Holm also stole 12 bases. Defensively, his fielding percentage is .969 and record 87 putouts with only three errors.
After two years at Everett, Holm said he received a good scholarship offer from Concordia and was excited to experience living away from home for the first time. It didn't hurt that Concordia generally gets at least one player a year drafted into Major League Baseball.
"I thought it would be a good fit for me and playing in the sun every day was different compared to Washington where it rains all the time," said the six-foot-two, 195-pounder.
Holm said facing the Asian teams, Japan and Chinese Taipei, this week as introduced him to some new "funky motions" of pitching and hitting.
"I've seen more breaking pitches than I've ever seen in my life in the last few games and their emotions are different," said Holm. "The way they hit it's not proper from the way we're taught to hit and the way they pitch, the mechanics are totally different and the timings a little bit different."
Holm said he briefly flirted with the idea of playing independent ball, having talked with a team in Arizona and one in Texas, but decided to play for his country instead at the WBC.
"Maybe next year," said Holm. "We'll see."