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 confirmed after Liberal’s 8-0 victory late Sunday evening.
Kaiser’s family arrived in Wichita and was in attendance for Liberal’s game on Sunday night. Players were aware of Kaiser’s death before the game, according to manager Adam Anderson, and followed with a run-rule, seven-inning 8-0 victory 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 the parents of Kaiser wanted the Bee Jays to continue playing — and winning — in the National Baseball Congress World Series. The victory on Sunday advanced Liberal to the semifinals of the winner’s bracket.
When the parents met with the players after the victory Sunday night, everyone was left with tears in their eyes as one-by-one the team went around and embraced one another.
“It is such an unfortunate accident and all we can do is be strong for the family,” Liberal manager Adam 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.”