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Opening Day post mortem

A few tidbits following the Cougars' season-opening 7-2 loss to Quad Cities at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark on Thursday:

• The Cougars posted a notice regarding clubhouse music near their whiteboard, but, understandably, none played after the game. Manager Mark Johnson, who had 19 Cougars on his roster at Short-A Boise last season, acknowledged "we've got a lot of things to work on," but also seemed pleased in several areas.

"That's one thing with having a youthful team is trying to get them to understand that, you know, you make mistakes, you build off your mistakes and then you come back tomorrow and you work on those mistakes," Johnson said. "And you strive to get better every single day at something."

• Designated hitter Rock Shoulders smacked a two-run homer in the fourth, trying to ignite a rally after the Cougars fell into an early 6-0 hole.

"I worked on a lot of stuff this offseason, felt like I've been seeing the ball good in spring training, and … felt like I was seeing the ball good today," Shoulders said.

• Thursday's crowd of 4,962 more than doubled the 2012 home opener attendance of 2,310. The Cougars also won the unofficial battle of Illinois, topping Peoria's Opening Day attendance of 4,322 against Wisconsin.

"It was exactly what I was expecting, and even a little bit better," Johnson said of the attendance. "I thought the crowd would kind of be a little bit less with the cold, but it turned out to be a decent evening, and they were into it. We just had one of those nights."

• The Cougars are 12-11 all-time in home openers. ... Ten Cougars played in the Midwest League with Peoria last season. ... The Cougars went 11-10 against Quad Cities in 2012 and trail the all-time series, 116-130.

– Kevin Druley, kdruley@shawmedia.com

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