May 15, 2009
By John Philip Wyllie
For the last four years Jorge Rosas has spent most of his time behind the plate for the Chula Vista Spartans. In those four years as the varsity catcher he has developed into one of the top backstops in the Mesa League. Last Saturday, Rosas was asked to leave his comfort zone and take the mound for the Spartans, but it wasn’t just any mound, it was the one that Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Heath Bell throw off of at Petco Park.
On May 9 Chula Vista squared off against Mesa League rival Bonita Vista at Petco Park in what will no doubt be the most memorable game of these player’s careers. Despite being on the losing end of 6-1 score Rosas and his Spartan teammates thoroughly enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience of playing on the manicured grass at Petco Park.
With the Padres playing on the road in Houston the stadium was made available for a weekend of high school baseball in which players from 10 local high school teams got the chance to see what it would be like to be big league ball players.
“I’ve never had a chance to play here before, so I was really excited to do this,” Rosas said afterward. “It was our first opportunity to play here and we wanted to play hard. We did, but we lost.”
Rosas’s pitching kept the Barons largely in check and the game in reach until the bottom of the sixth inning. Westlund knew he could count on his veteran captain to remain calm under the intense pressure of playing at Petco.
“Every team needs one guy that the other players can lean on and Jorge does that for us. He brings unity to us. When he is here whether he is pitching or catching he is the cement that brings our team together. He did that today. We just didn’t get enough hits when guys were on base. He almost hit one out, so that is something that he will always remember about his experience at Petco.”
In June Rosas will conclude his impressive four year career with the Spartans, but his playing days are far from over.
“I would like to attend college and play baseball and one day play in the Major League,” Rosas said.
Regardless of whether he ever fulfills that lofty goal on this day for two hours Rosas lived that dream.
“They will be talking about this game 10 years after they graduate. This is one of those memories that they will last a lifetime,” said Spartan coach Jim Westlund. “This was a great event. It transcended baseball. We are really grateful to the Padres and to the CIF Commissioner.”