The Chattanooga Lookouts lost their opener 12-7 to the Jackson Generals on Thursday night at AT&T Field in an 11-inning game that was upstaged before the first pitch.
Two members of the Chattanooga Skydiving Company were part of the pregame spectacle to usher in another season, but the second of the skydivers suffered a broken femur after slamming into the turf in center field. Justin Silvia hit the ground hard at 7:19 and remained there for 17 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.
Silvia gave the thumbs-up while being carted off the field, which was met with resounding applause from the impressive crowd of 5,178.
"When I got out there, he was talking and sitting up on his side," Lookouts general manager Rich Mozingo said. "He seemed to be in good spirits, but he was obviously in a lot of pain because of his leg. He definitely came down hard, and his partner said the plan was to follow each other in.
"I don't know where the disconnect was, because he didn't follow his partner in. Maybe that had something to do with it, but the crowd was awesome in giving him a warm reception while he was heading off the field."
Silvia, who has more than 8,000 jumps according to the Chattanooga Skydiving Company's website, was listed in stable condition before being taken to Erlanger hospital.
Jackson won the game four hours after the skydiving mishap when the Generals scored five runs off Lookouts reliever Craig Stem. Leon Landry broke the tie in the 11th with an RBI single to center, and Kevin Rivers added a two-run double to center.
The Generals jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the strength of Jabari Blash's two-out grand slam to right-center field in the fifth inning, but the Lookouts got within 5-3 later in the fifth with the help of a two-run homer to right by Scott Schebler. The Lookouts got within 7-6 in the eighth on Chris O'Brien's three-run homer to center off rehabbing major leaguer and Ringgold resident Stephen Pryor, and they tied it in the ninth on Daniel Mayora's homer to left.
Duke von Schamann is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Stephen Landazuri scheduled for the Generals.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.