Despite a huge night at the plate from Stephen Holdren, the Saltdogs (34-50) fell to the Amarillo Sox (41-44) 8-7 in 10 innings in front of 4,163 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Amarillo tied the game with two runs in the top of the eighth, then scored what proved to be the winning run on a two-out, two-strike RBI single by Harrison Kain.
Holdren went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI in the losing effort. David Espinosa finished 3-for-6 with three runs and a two-run home run.
Wes Littleton (3-3) tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three and walking one to earn the win. Pete Parise (6-6) surrendered a run on two hits in one inning of relief to take the loss.
Mike Provencher went 3-for-5 with two runs and two doubles.
Amarillo reliever Chase Johnson was ejected in the bottom of the eighth after arguing a call at first base.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the three-game set. Wade Mackey (6-1, 3.44) will take on Cliff Springston (1-3, 7.92). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240. A Fireworks show - the final dazzling display of the year - presented by Pepsi will take place after the game.