Kaiser Carlile, the 9-year-old bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays who was struck in the head with a follow-through swing near the on-deck circle during Saturday’s game, died on Sunday, Liberal general manager Mike Carlile said.
Carlile confirmed the death after Liberal’s 8-0 victory in the National Baseball Congress World Series late Sunday evening. Kaiser’s family had arrived in Wichita and was in attendance for Liberal’s game Sunday. Players were aware of Kaiser’s death before the game, according to manager Adam Anderson. The Bee Jays went on to win the run-rule, seven-inning game over the Haysville Aviators.
“We just lost a little, 9-year-old Bee Jay and it’s incredibly sad,” Mike Carlile said. “No one wrote us a book to tell us how to do this. We’re just dealing with it the best way we know how, and that’s to keep coming out and keep honoring Kaiser on the field.”
Mike Carlile said that Kaiser's parents wanted the Bee Jays to continue playing — and winning — in the NBC World Series. The victory on Sunday advanced Liberal to the semifinals of the winner’s bracket.
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When his parents met with the team after the victory Sunday night, everyone was left teary-eyed as the players embraced one another.
“It is such an unfortunate accident and all we can do is be strong for the family,” Anderson said. “That’s all they wanted us to do was go out there and play a good baseball game and that’s what we did.”