Several thousand baseball fans endured a one-hour rain delay right before the scheduled start time at AT&T Field on Friday.
They saw more than a baseball game after the skies cleared following a storm that obstructed views of the nearby Olgiati Bridge. They also saw the Chattanooga Lookouts defeat Montgomery 5-0 in the final game of their homestand.
Darth Vader starred in the Lookouts' first-ever "Star Wars" night. A crew of storm troopers surrounded him for protection from the Jedi. He threw out the first pitch -- a bouncer in the dirt. Shouldn't his death grip be able to get it over the plate?
Jedi and the Sith characters wandered the concourse and the stands, posing for pictures with children and play-fighting with plastic light sabers. They were available for sale to the fans as well, sprinkling the stands with purple and plastic glows.
The promise of fireworks also helped draw the crowd of 5,828.
"It was our group-sales department that came up with the idea, and it's paid off," Lookouts general manager Rich Mozingo said. "The public seems to have latched on to the 'Star Wars' theme. This promotion definitely has legs."
Lookouts starting pitcher Ross Stripling didn't need the Force. He had a very good fastball and a ticklish curveball working enough well enough to strike out any of the fictional characters and fool all of the Biscuits.
Stripling earned his fifth win of the season and allowed just two hits, walking none and striking out four. Only Hector Guevara reached second base for the Biscuits, and he did so with a double.
The Lookouts swung wood bats instead of light sabers against Montgomery starting pitcher Jake Floethe. They roughed him up for five hits, four walks and four runs. The Biscuits made two errors, resulting in only two of the runs being earned.
Lookouts outfielder Joc Pederson went 2-for-5 and scored two runs. Third baseman Sean Burroughs went 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.
Designated hitter Bobby Coyle delivered the biggest blow of the night. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, Coyle rifled a shot through the right side that scored Pederson and Ozzie Martinez. It gave the Lookouts a 4-0 lead.
Stripling had more than enough run support and a much better night than Darth Vader.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...