Cody Heselton remembers being maybe 10 years old and playing in a Little League All-Star game against a rival town, and taking a fastball off the kneecap that forced him out of the game.

Harry Roy’s first memory goes further back, to the time when he turned a double play in a T-Ball game. 

There have been a lot of years and growth since those early baseball days for Heselton and Roy, and their Putnam Science Academy teammates Ryan Ponte and Ian Mihalopoulos. But those moments were so important in getting all four (4) of these student athletes to Wednesday, Nov. 8 – the day each of them took a momentous step in their baseball lives by signing their National Letter of Intent to play next year in college. 

Heselton, a LHP/1B/OF signed with Marist College; Roy, a RHP, with Southern Connecticut State University; and Ponte the RHP/1B/OF himself, and Mihalopoulos, a RHP, both signed with Central Connecticut State University.

The four (4) were feted at a ceremony at the school with family, teammates, and fellow students. “It was great,” said the charismatic Heselton, who is from Glastonbury and in his first year at Putnam Science Academy. “Very nerve wracking with so many people. That was definitely a sight to see but it was fun. I was very, very nervous. But more excited than anything, really. I’m excited for this next chapter. It’s been a very long process, very complicated. But signing today with Marist, it all feels complete.”

Ponte, also in his first year at Putnam Science Academy, was likewise nervous to speak in front of so many of his peers. And he too was happy to make it official, especially considering he hasn’t pitched in nearly a year due to Tommy John surgery. “It’s been hard with my injury,” he said. “There were times that I wanted to quit, but I was really encouraged not to by my parents. I decided to do a postgrad year this year, and that’s when everything changed for me. That’s when I verbally committed and I knew then that everything was going to be ok.”

Mihalopoulos was the first player to commit to Putnam Science Academy in the spring of 2022 when the Mustangs decided to bring back their baseball program, but he has yet to throw a pitch because, like Ponte, he underwent Tommy John surgery. A setback in the spring of 2023 kept him off the mound, but he returned to the mound over the summer, which turned into a commitment to CCSU. “For me, it was just getting back onto the field,” he said. “My process was much easier than other people’s has been. It wasn’t like coaches were ghosting me or anything like that. For me, it was more just trying to stay healthy. Once I was able to do that and get back out to pitch again, Central liked what they saw. When I first committed, it was kind of a surreal feeling and it is now that I have signed. But now that I’m actually signed to a college, it feels like my younger self is really proud of me.”

This is Roy’s second year at Putnam Science Academy after putting together a standout first season with the Mustangs. He was a bulldog of an ace on last year’s staff, going 6-1 with a 1.30 ERA and 56 strikeouts over 43 1/3 innings. “It’s just exciting just to know that this is the next chapter of my life that I’m going to be starting next fall,” Roy said. “There were a lot of ups and down in the recruiting process, but Southern is the perfect fit for me. They have what I was looking for, including coaches who I trust.’

Congratulations Cody, Harry, Ryan, and Ian!! Go Mustangs!!

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