By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Carol Moss Read keeps this weekend open every year, and just one look around her explained why.
On the first-base side of Dudy Noble Field, a line of fans stretched from the gate up to Lakeview Road on Friday evening. They were waiting to be let in for Mississippi State’s NCAA regional game against Central Arkansas, and the seats filled quickly.
It’s the first time in 10 years that MSU has hosted a regional. Moss Read, a Starkville resident, wasn’t about to miss it. She said she’s been to every regional here since 1979 – which means she’s now been to all 12 regionals played at Dudy Noble.
When MSU hosted in 2003, Moss Read kept that weekend clear.
“Then I realized, I’ve been doing that for 10 years, and we haven’t had a regional,” she said. “Out of habit, I just won’t schedule anything.”
All the buzz on and around campus brought the memories of past regionals flooding back for Moss Read, who was attending with her husband of eight years, Jim.
“It’s just awesome,” she said.
Pirtle keeps reaching
Brett Pirtle keeps getting on base.
The MSU junior second baseman singled his first time up against Central Arkansas, making it 34 consecutive games that he’s reached base. Entering the game, Pirtle was batting .310 with an on-base percentage of .424, third-best on the team.
Dustin Dalken had four RBIs and Nick Zaharion drove in three to lead South Alabama past Mercer, 9-4, in the opening game of the day.
Anthony Izzio (4-0) worked six innings of one-run ball for the win. Mercer starter Brandon Barker (7-2) couldn’t make it out of the first inning, as the Jaguars scored three runs.