The Citadel baseball program is mourning the deaths of an ex-coach and an ex-player, both lost over the weekend.
Former Bulldogs coach Malcolm "Mac" Erwin, who guided Citadel baseball from 1957-60, died on Saturday at age 86. Erwin also was an assistant coach in football, and led the baseball team to the 1960 Southern Conference championship and its first trip to the NCAA tournament. He was inducted into The Citadel Hall of Fame as an honorary member in 1993.
The Citadel also lost former player Chance Smith, 26, who died in a car accident early Saturday morning in Atlanta, according to coach Fred Jordan. Smith played outfield for the Bulldogs from 2004-07, and many Citadel fans will remember his two home runs and four runs batted-in in an 11-10 victory over rival College of Charleston in 2006.
"Chance had tremendous energy and every day was the same for him, whether we won or lost," Jordan said. "He was a great clubhouse guy, and it didn't matter whether he was in the lineup or not. The important thing was, he graduated from The Citadel and was defending his country in the military. He's a very special person to me and to all of us."
When Smith signed with The Citadel in 2002 out of Evans (Ga.) High School, he told his hometown newspaper, "I've wanted to go to The Citadel forever. I just like the school and the atmosphere."
Jordan said Smith's wife was involved in the accident and is in critical condition. Their four-month-old baby was not in the car at the time, he said.