Tragedy has struck the New Zealand baseball community with news that international pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom has been killed in a car accident in the United States.
Holdzkom is the elder brother of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher John Holdzkom and details of the accident are unknown at this stage.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Holdzkom family at this tragic time," said Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn, who is in the US for World Baseball Classic meetings.
Lincoln Holdzkom was an integral part of the 2012 Diamondblacks team that came within a game of qualifying for the main draw of the World Classic and figured to be a big part again in February's challenge in Australia.
Before his time with New Zealand's national team, Lincoln was drafted in the seventh round by the Florida Marlins, making their 40-man roster in 2004.
After five years he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and spent a year there before signing a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 where he made the Sox 40-man roster in 2008.
Holdzkom's most recent minor league contract ended in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Holdzkom's father is a New Zealander.
Flynn said the national team and the organisation's leadership plan on honouring Lincoln in numerous ways in the WBC qualifiers and beyond.