"Relief'' was the word of the day after Lindenhurst senior righthander Tom Bammann was hit in the face by a line drive yesterday.
"He's had comebackers, but never at the head," said his father, Glenn Bammann. "We've never had an incident this scary. Thankfully, we're on our way home and he'll be on painkillers and anti-inflammatories and he'll be OK. He never lost consciousness.
"I was glad it wasn't a direct hit because he was able to turn his face. He was bleeding from his nose, but we couldn't tell if it was his nose or his face. It could have been a lot worse."
Bammann suffered multiple fractures on the right side of his face and was released from South Side Hospital in Bay Shore last night after a CT scan revealed that he had not suffered a concussion.
Glenn Bammann said his son will have to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for precautionary measures. He also has an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
"He's very swollen and his eye is black and blue," he said. "It was completely closed but it's a little open now. My wife was very shook up, but she has her color back."
With a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the first inning of Lindenhurst's 6-2 Suffolk League II victory over Connetquot, Joe Russo lined Bammann's fastball directly back at the pitcher, who didn't have time to get his glove up to protect himself as he followed through. The ball caromed off his face toward first base.
"I hit it very hard," Russo said. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It hit him right in the face. It was horrible. I thought about it all game. I hope he's OK."
Former major-league pitcher Paul Gibson, a Seattle Mariners scout, was in attendance. He said it was the second time this season he's seen a pitcher get hit in the face with a line drive.
"It's just terrible," Gibson said. "The pitcher has no chance. I saw Tommy Toledo, a draftable pitcher at the University of Florida, get drilled in the face and his season is over.
"Someone needs to figure out how to slow the ball off the metal bat. Some guys are hitting the ball at 118, 120 mph off the bat."