Ryan Hines. Photo by Thomas Netzer

Ryan Hines is ready to go.
He realized during his sophomore baseball season at Berlin High School that he had the chance to play the game in college.
“Summer hit that year and I started playing really well,” said Hines, now the starting shortstop at Putnam Science Academy. “My summer coach was like, ‘OK, you’ve got a lot of potential, and you’ve got to start taking this seriously.’ That’s when I realized that this wasn’t just what I wanted to do, but this is what I was going to do.
“Before that, I wanted to play in college, but it was like a dream…everybody wants to, but it can’t come true for everybody.”
It became true last week for Hines at an event at PSA, where – with his family, and PSA staff and students in attendance – he signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball next year at Central Connecticut State University.
“It’s a feeling that I can’t explain,” he said. “It feels so good. I’ve been working toward this since I was little. It’s always been my dream to play a college sport. Once I realized I actually had the opportunity, and someone took a shot on me, knowing that I’m going to play a college sport…it’s an insane feeling.
“I got the opportunity to stay in the senior class and not reclass, which was definitely cool because I get to go play college baseball next year instead of high school baseball. Even if I take a redshirt year, I’m going to be playing and practicing with Division I athletes as opposed to playing games and practicing with high schoolers. It’s a huge jump but it’s going to make me so much better and take my game to the next level.”
PSA teammate Enger Paulino, who also signed his NLI last week (with Assumption University) is confident that Hines will make the most of his opportunity.
“Ryan is a stand-up guy, a selfless guy,” Paulino said. “He’s a hard worker. At practice, whatever we’re doing…getting swings, running…he’s the guy who wants to work. He’s a gamer. You see him and you might not be impressed with him physically, but once you step across the lines, he shows up. He’s going to be fun to watch there.”
An added bonus to playing at the New Britain school is that it is close to Berlin, and his parents and younger sister should be able to be at every home game (younger brother Jacob will be back at PSA next year for his second season), and conference games won’t require a lot of travel for them either.
“It’s all in the same area,” he said, “and it’s definitely cool because they are a part of it. Them being able to keep seeing me play and progress means a lot.”
Hines admitted that his Signing Day didn’t affect him much in the moment, but the reality of it has started to sink in.
“I feel like I can sometimes take a lot of things for granted,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it when I signed, I wasn’t thinking that it was a big deal. It was one of those things… I didn’t realize how special and cool this actually is. It’s finally starting to hit me that I’m going to college next year to play a sport. It’s crazy to think about it. I can’t wait.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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