WICHITA, Kan. - A 9-year-old bat boy has died after he was accidentally hit in the head with a bat during a National Baseball Congress World Series game in Kansas.
Kaiser Carlile was wearing a helmet when he was struck by a follow-through swing near the on-deck circle Saturday during a game between the Liberal Bee Jays and the San Diego Waves, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The boy was hospitalized in critical condition, but he died Sunday, according to Mike Carlile, a member of the boy's extended family and the Bee Jays' general manager.
Home-plate umpire Mark Goldfeder, a longtime paramedic, treated the boy after the accident until an ambulance arrived. Kaiser was then taken to a hospital.
Kaiser's parents met with the team's players after their son died, and urged them to keep playing in the series, Carlile said.
"We just lost a little, 9-year-old Bee Jay and it's incredibly sad," 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."
Carlile said Kaiser was a "kid, small in stature, who just wanted to be one of the guys." He said Kaiser was eager to get to the ballpark every day, and that watching him interact with the baseball players was entertaining.
"They kid each other, gig each other. Kaiser and our head coach were very tight. It was special," he said.
The Liberal Bee Jays went on to win a game Sunday night and advanced to the semifinals.
"It is such an unfortunate accident and all we can do is be strong for the family," team 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."