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Pace University coach accidentally smashes player’s face with bat

Pace University coach accidentally smashes player's face with bat

The Pace University baseball coach accidentally cracked two bones in a player’s face with a bat after the team lost a doubleheader — and didn’t call for an ambulance to take the bloodied teen to a hospital, witnesses told The Post.

Veteran manager Hank Manning, 51, was ranting during a locker-room huddle March 8 after the team lost a twin bill to rival New York Institute of Technology when he swung a bat, hitting a freshman sitting close behind him.

“He was quite angry. He was cursing, red in the face, raising his voice,” a player said.

It was “nothing out of the ordinary” until Manning wielded a flat-bat, which is cut in half lengthwise down the barrel with sharp edges and used for practice.

“He was going to throw it into a wall, but held onto it for too long. It looked like he was taking a swing. Maybe he tried to stop himself.”

Before the coach could slow the momentum, the wooden bat struck the player, student-athletes said.

Pace University baseball coach Hank Manning
Hank Manning[/caption]
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“It looked like he had a hole in his face,” one said of the injured player, who seemed to be shock.

“He was bleeding pretty badly,” another said, describing a two- to three-inch gash below the player’s left eye.

“A centimeter higher and he’d probably be blind,” the teammate said. “He’s lucky to have his sight.”

Upsetting players further, Manning simply blurted, “F–k” after the mishap, and walked into his office.

He popped his head out 20 minutes later, with the team and two assistant coaches still present, and said, “That shows my intensity,” a player said. He then returned to his office and closed the door.

But Manning and the assistant coaches, Pete Raimondi and Tim Bausher, didn’t call 911 or summon an ambulance.

Instead, Raimondi cleaned blood from the player and asked a teammate to drive the injured player to the hospital in the teammate’s car.

The Post is withholding the injured athlete’s name.

The father of a fellow player, Vincent Scotto, was so outraged by the coach’s alleged conduct he filed a complaint with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, asking for an independent investigation of Manning and Pace’s handling of the incident.

“I entrusted my son with him and what he did was reckless,” said Scotto, a former NYPD officer. “This was an egregious act that victimized every student-athlete in that locker room. It was not properly investigated, and students are afraid to speak out because of potential retribution.”

Pace spokeswoman Marie Boster said a university probe by its own security officer found no wrongdoing.

“I’m very concerned that an episode that was deemed to be an accident by all parties is going to turn into a blemish on a coach and a sports program that doesn’t deserve it,” she said.

“The appropriate policies and procedures had been followed,” Boster said, but she would not explain the Pace protocol, if any, for calling an ambulance for an injured athlete. She also refused to say who the coach contacted after the accident or when.

The Pace security office did not interview any students besides the injured player, teammates believe. “We felt (the incident) was being covered up,” one said.

The next day the team held practice without the injured player. Manning “acted as if nothing had happened,” a teammate said.

Manning apologized to some players. “He said his emotions got the best of him and it was unacceptable,” one recalled.

The injured athlete has told friends he plans to transfer from Pace — and will need plastic surgery for a facial scar.

About the author

Evan Lewis

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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