2007_04_bats.jpgHigh school baseball is off to a vicious start. Two students at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn claim that the assistant baseball coach at a Manhattan high school beat them with a metal bat earlier this week. One of the victims has a broken jaw, while the other was cut on the face and neck.

The Daily News reports that the two students say that Norman Thomas High School assistant baseball coach Ernesto Cruz - with some of his players - attacked them during an exhibition baseball game between the two schools. Raphael Mercedes and David Garcia were cheering for a Fort Hamilton pitcher when Cruz allegedly yelled, "What what you say or we can throw down right here."

Cruz, who was arrested and charged with assault, menacing, and more, tells the Daily News that he was the one who was attacked and that he'll be cleared. "I didn't have a bat. I didn't have nothing. They attacked me...They were gang members...[who] pull out bats from a silver Jeep... All I did was hold my kids back while [the other teens] were punching and kicking me." The Daily News does not mention whether Cruz had noticeable injuries.

And Fort Hamilton won the game, 10-5.