One of the main newcomers for the Erskine College baseball team this season is not really a newcomer at all.
Zach Smith played for the Fleet as a freshman in 2011 and after a year each at USC-Sumter and South Carolina, Smith has returned to Erskine as a redshirt junior.
"Erskine is a different place. It takes a special kid to go to Erskine and understand what Erskine is," Erskine coach Kevin Nichols said. "With the surroundings that we have and those sort of things, kids sometimes think they want bigger and better and all the lights.
"But he was more happy with us than anywhere else."
Smith went to Erskine after graduating from White Knoll High School in Lexington because the Fleet was the only team to recruit him. During his freshman campaign in Due West, Smith lit it up. He batted a team-high .379 and mashed nine home runs with 42 runs batted in. Off the field, he loved Erskine and his coaches and teammates.
But, Smith said he did not know how to handle college and college baseball, and his grades forced him to go to junior college at USC-Sumter.
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