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From left: Ponte, Heselton, Roy and Mihalopoulos. Photo by Heather Stewart.

Cody Heselton remembers being maybe 10 years old and playing a Little League All-Start game against a rival town and taking a fastball off the kneecap, forcing 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 has been a lot of growth since those early baseball days for Heselton and Roy, and their Putnam Science Academy teammates Ryan Ponte and Ian Mihalopoulos, all four of whom took a momentous step in their baseball lives Wednesday afternoon when they each signed their National Letter of Intent to play next year in college.
Heselton, a lefty pitcher/first baseman/outfielder signed with Marist College; Roy, a right-handed pitcher, with Southern Connecticut; and the right-handed Ponte, a pitcher/first baseman/outfielder himself, and Mihalopoulos, a righty pitcher, both signed with Central Connecticut.
The four 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 PSA. “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 PSA, 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 because of Tommy John elbow surgery.
“It’s been hard with my injury,” he said. “There were times 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 PSA in the spring of 2022, but he has yet to throw a pitch for the Mustangs because, like Ponte, he underwent Tommy John surgery. A setback in the spring kept him off the mound then, but he had a big summer, which turned into a commitment to Central.
“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 staying healthy. Once I was able to do that and get back out and pitch again, Central liked what they saw.
“When I first committed, it was kind of a surreal feeling and it is now that I’ve 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 with PSA after putting together a standout first season. 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,” he said. “There were a lot of ups and downs in the recruiting process, but Southern is the perfect fit for me. They have what I was looking for, including coaches who I trust.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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