TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Miguel Rivera made his return to the diamond in epic fashion on Tuesday night as the redshirt senior first baseman launched the walk-off home run to the left of the scoreboard in right center field to secure No. 15 Indiana State’s 5-4 13-inning win over Illinois on Bob Warn Field.
Rivera led off the bottom of the 13th and capped off his first game back on the diamond after an injury suffered on April 23 against Southern Illinois by driving the 1-0 offering from Illinois right-hander Jack Crowder over the wall. As he rounded the bases, the Sycamore (29-13) dugout gathered around the plate waited for him to touch them all before setting off the celebration.
Rivera played a key in both of Indiana State’s scoring opportunities in extra innings. The Miami, Fla. native entered the game as a pinch-hitter with two on, one out and the Sycamores trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning. He battled through a 1-2 count before dropping a single into shallow left center and loading the bases for Seth Gergely. The Sycamores would go on to tie the game as an Illinois throwing error on Gergely’s fielder’s choice brought home Josue Urdaneta and Parker Stinson to tie the game up at 4-4 and send the teams into the 11th.
Zach Davidson (3-1) put on one of the most dominant pitching displays all-time in a Sycamore uniform as the junior left-hander struck out eight hitters over 3.1-innings of work, including an immaculate 11th frame where he struck out Jacob Schroeder, Danny Doligale, and Cal Hejza on nine pitches.