By: Robert Stevens
Oswego State second baseman Ryan Enos will be wearing the baby blue and white once more for the 2021 season. Enos was ready to return in 2020 before the pandemic struck, halting his return home.
Born in Oriskany, Enos will be returning to familiar territory to compete with the Blue Sox. The long-awaited return to Murnane field has Enos raring to get on the field.
“I don’t even know where to start when talking about my excitement level for this season,” said Enos enthusiastically. “I can’t wait to get back to Utica this summer and play in front of the best fans in the PGCBL.”
Enos will be using his prior experience to his advantage, especially with the adaptation to a busy summer schedule.
“This schedule is like a major league schedule,” Enos said. “You’re working six or seven days and we’re playing a ton of games in just as many days. I’ll have a season of experience under my belt playing that many games in that many days in a row. My body will be used to getting to the field early every day and work in for a couple hours before the game even starts.”
The experience that Enos brings to the table will allow him to follow in his idol Derek Jeter’s footsteps in pursuit of being a leader for the team.
“I could be a leader for this team,” Enos said. “As a guy who has been here before, when new people and new kids get here, it’s their first time in Utica and I’ve lived here my whole life so I know I can answer any sort of question they might have and provide leadership.”
For Enos, this isn’t just a trip home. It’s a reunion with Murnane field. A place where Enos can recall a plethora of memories from 2019. Whether it was fireworks night or his walkoff to beat Geneva and come out of the PGCBL in first place, Enos has a special place in his heart for the Blue Sox.
“Summer 2019 was great,” proclaimed the Oriskany native. “I got to have my family, friends and people that I’ve played with and against my whole life coming to the game. The atmosphere at Murnane was always so great over the summer. It was always a fun time.”
With New York state’s recent announcement allowing a limited number of fans into outdoor venues, there is plenty of optimism that the Blue Sox will be playing with the city of Utica cheering them on. Enos is ready to give them a well-deserved show.
“The fans are always great. It’s one of the best parts about going to the game. You get to see all the kids running around and interacting with the PA system announcers and doing dances. Having them back is going to be a ton of fun. Plus, it makes the game more fun to play and more intense.”
Enos is currently a senior for the SUNY Oswego Lakers. In 10 games, Enos is currently batting a .500 on 34 at-bats. He has 20 RBIs and 14 runs with a career high in on-base-percentage at 62 percent. Enos’s explanation for his quick success is a greater appreciation for the game because of the pandemic.
“We had to wait forever. It seemed like and I just love playing baseball,” Enos said. “Now it’s time to just take advantage of the opportunities that we are given because even though we’re playing now, COVID is still a real possibility, and it could get taken away from us at any time.”
Another explanation for the success this season is preparing any way he could during the offseason as he waited for the 2021 season to have the green light.
“For a while we couldn’t practice because of COVID so we were putting in work on our own time and lifting,” Enos said. “We got lucky because we had a good month before games started. We really hit it hard in practice and were grinding to get ready. We faced live pitching off our own pitches and really worked hard on everything. By the time we got out to the field it didn’t seem like our first game because of how prepared we were.”
The highly anticipated 2021 season is close to its opening day. In preparation for the season, Enos had a message for the fans.
“To the fans, we’ve missed you and have been waiting to play in front of all of you since the moment the 2019 season ended. There’s no place I’d rather be this summer than Murnane. I hope to see you there.”