WICHITA, Kan. — The Saltdogs scored five of the game’s final six runs but couldn’t quite overcome an early deficit as the Wingnuts picked up the 8-6 season-opening victory in front of 3,095 fans at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Thursday night.

Mike Provencher led off the game with a two-strike, solo home run to left to give the ‘Dogs a 1-0 advantage.

Wichita stormed back, scoring the game’s next seven runs, highlighted by opposite field homers from David Peralta and 2006 World Series champion John Rodriguez.

Derek Blacksher (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three and walking two to earn the win. Jino Gonzalez (0-1) tossed 3 2/3 frames, allowing five runs on five hits to suffer the loss. Josh Dew allowed an unearned run but struck out the side in the ninth to book his first save.

Provencher finished 2-for-4 with a run and three two-strike RBI. Asif Shah went 2-for-4 with a run and two doubles. Leivi Ventura and Leugim Barroso each registered multi-hit nights.

Tommy Palica is scheduled to start game two of the four-game series Friday night at 7:05 pm. Ryan Hinson will toe the slab for Wichita. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 pm on KFOR 1240.

The Saltdogs’ home opener at Haymarket Park is May 23 against Sioux City. Get your Saltdogs Five Pack (five behind-the-plate tickets for just $50!) now by calling 402-474-BALL or by visiting www.saltdogs.com.