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Star-Telegram.com

Isolated ACL tear finishes Jason Coats' TCU career

Posted Tuesday, May. 29, 2012

By Stefan Stevenson

sstevenson@star-telegram.com

TCU outfielder Jason Coats will miss the postseason after injuring his knee in the regular-season finale May 20.

The senior from Plano, who led TCU in most offensive categories, missed the Mountain West Conference tournament but hoped he'd be cleared to play in the NCAA Tournament. Tests confirmed Tuesday that he had an isolated tear in his right anterior cruciate ligament. He'll have surgery soon.

"It was really hard at first, but the whole time I held onto that slight chance I might get to play one more time," Coats said. "I've enjoyed every second playing at TCU, and it kind of stinks that my last home game I went down with an injury."

Coats, who has been an understated, humble leader since becoming a starter his freshman season in 2009, helped TCU advance to its first Super Regional with a ninth-inning game-winning hit in the regional that season. In 2010, he batted .361 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs and helped lead TCU to its first College World Series.

"I've really appreciated all the relationships I've made with all the players and coaches since I've been here," he said. "The guys can do just fine without me. There's a lot of talent on this team, and I'm sure they can overcome anything. I'll be in the dugout the whole way."

The Horned Frogs (36-19) open the College Station Regional against Ole Miss (35-24) at 12:35 p.m. Friday at Texas A&M's Blue Bell Park.

Coats' career was one of the best in TCU history. He finishes as the all-time leader in at-bats and doubles and second all-time in hits, RBIs and total bases.

His career was cut short during a game in which TCU saluted its seniors. Coats returned for his senior year after being drafted in the 12th round last June. He turned down a low six-figure signing bonus and got his accounting degree earlier this month.

"When it happened, I was devastated, but in the long run, it's just a little bump in the road," he said. "Things happen for a reason. I'm just happy I can still be with the team, and we're hoping for the best this weekend."

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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