SACO — As a little kid tossing a baseball around the backyard of his home on Scrimshaw Lane, Jeff Gelinas dreamed of one day playing for the Boston Red Sox.

As a young man in his final year of high school, he’s thrilled to be continuing his baseball career for the University of Maine Black Bears.

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Gelinas signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning to accept an athletic scholarship to the state university. Thornton Academy held a ceremony in the school lobby attended by friends, administrators, family members and several former coaches of Gelinas, 17, who was recruited as a pitcher but also has shown he can handle a bat.

“They may be bringing him in as a pitcher,” said third-year TA baseball coach Ray Petit, “but once they see what else he can do, he may open some other doors as a DH or as a first baseman.”

Petit said in high school and legion competition the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Gelinas has played every position except center field.

“It definitely has been a dream of mine to play at a higher level my whole life,” Gelinas said. “It ended up working out pretty well.”