Mesa players Fowler, Rosales tell tales of World Series

Mesa players Fowler, Rosales tell tales of World Series

Two Colorado Mesa baseball players, Justin Rosales, inside left, and Tim Fowler, played in the Little League World Series when they were 12 years old. They’ll be playing in front of current Little Leaguers on Friday night during Mesa’s Little League Family/Record Attendance Night at Suplizio Field. Several young players hung out with the Mavericks recently, counterclockwise from top left, Kiara Esparza, Jacob Melchor, Breylen Mapes, Chace Bradshaw, Jacob Shive, Braydon Anderson, Gwen Peacock, Jairet Bradshaw, Tyler Feurerborn and EmmaLee Feurerborn. Tickets for the game are $5 and are available from any area Little League player, with $3 of the ticket price donated to the Little League.

Tim Fowler and Justin Rosales lived a dream many boys have growing up.

The Colorado Mesa University juniors played in the 2003 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

“It was pretty crazy,” Rosales said of the Chandler (Ariz.) National All-Star team’s trip to Williamsport.

“Everybody wanted a picture with you or to talk to you. You felt like a celebrity out there and you were only 12 years old. We played in front of a bunch of people. The atmosphere of it was beyond anything I expected, that’s for sure.”

Rosales, Fowler and the rest of the Mavericks expect that same type of atmosphere at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Suplizio Field when the No. 24 Mavericks (32-10, 26-6 RMAC) play rival CSU-Pueblo (25-17, 22-10) on Little League Family/Record Attendance Night.

“We want to put on a show for these little kids,” Fowler said. “They look up to us in more than a baseball way. It’s good they have a night, watch baseball and see how it’s played at a higher level.”

Jacob Melchor, 11, plays for Monument Little League and is looking forward to Friday’s game.

“I’m excited about it,” Melchor said. “I’m excited about the new stadium. I’ve been wanting to watch (Mesa) play.”

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at Colorado Mesa, the gate, online at, or through any of the Little Leagues, including the Challenger program, in the Grand Valley.

Three dollars of each ticket purchased through Little League goes back to that program. The remaining $2 goes to the city of Grand Junction.

The six Little Leagues in the valley have 1,900 tickets to sell.

Colorado Mesa has several events planned for the game, which the Mavericks hope results in breaking the NCAA Division II single-game attendance record of 3,683, set in 2005 by CSU-Pueblo.

Seating at Suplizio is officially 7,041. CMU coach Chris Hanks would love to see a full house and put the record out of reach.

Last Friday night, the Mavericks drew 2,461 at Suplizio for their annual Game of Hope, a benefit for Relay for Life.

The Mavericks owned the Division II attendance record before CSU-Pueblo broke it at Runyon Field in a game Mesa won to clinch the RMAC championship.

Drawings and raffles are planned throughout Friday’s game, with prizes including two book scholarships to CMU, Country Jam and Rock Jam tickets, a “dizzy bat” race and a ball toss for cash. The dorm with the most students in attendance receives free T-shirts.

The teams, both in contention for the RMAC championship, will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and another game at noon Sunday.

Seeing all the Little League players ringing the field before the first pitch will bring back memories for the Mavericks, especially of the World Series.

“The amount of attention you’re getting,” Fowler said. “It’s completely different, but so fun at the same time.”

The Chandler team took third in the U.S. bracket and fourth in the World Championships. Chandler lost to the World Series runner-up from Boynton Beach, Fla., in the U.S. semifinals.

“I know all the Little Leaguers really look up to (the Little League World Series),” Fowler said. “I think our same Little League has been back to the World Series. We kind of set that tone. Now they set it as a goal to get back.”

Ten-year-old Jacob Shive of Fruita watches the Little League World Series every year and shares the dream Fowler lived.

“I like baseball because it’s fun,” Shive said. “You get to hang out with friends.”

Chace Bradshaw, 11, said he dreams of playing in front of a big crowd one day, too: “It’s fun to watch the fans cheer you on.”


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