WICHITA, Kan. -- A 9-year-old bat boy hit in the head during a National Baseball Congress World Series game Saturday has died.
The Bee Jays, of Liberal, in southwest Kansas, announced Kaiser Carlile's death on their Facebook page. "With the permission of the family, and with much sorrow and a very broken heart, I regretfully inform everyone that Kaiser Carlile passed away earlier this evening. Please keep his family and our team in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for the support during this ordeal!" said the team's president, Nathan McCaffrey.
Witnesses told CBS Wichita affiliate KWCH-TV Kaiser was running to retrieve a bat on the ground near the on-deck hitter, who didn't notice him accidentally hit him on the head with a practice swing in Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Kaiser was wearing a helmet, as the league requires.
"Right before he fell, the umpire and the base player both rushed up and caught him before he hit the ground," witness Malachi Lingg told the station. "They caught him and just set him on the ground, and they all clustered around him quickly. It was really silent. Everybody was quiet."
The team took a moment to gather in a circle and pray as an ambulance took Kaiser to a hospital.
Home-plate umpire Mark Goldfeder, a longtime paramedic, treated Kaiser until the ambulance arrived.
The team prayed together after learning Kaiser had died:
And a Bee Jays player posted his thoughts on Instagram, saying, "Kaiser, you were a little brother I never had. You took the field with us every game this summer. You were, and always will be a Bee Jay. No person or team could ask for a better bat boy. It is terrible to see you leave in such a way, but knowing your last moments were on the baseball field makes it easier through this whole process, because you were doing what you loved. It hurts to see someone so young and with so much heart pass like you did, but you are now in God's hands, and being the bat boy for the angels up above. We all love you, and you will be greatly missed. R.I.P. Kaiser Carlile."