The Pontotoc cross-county Waterway League rivalry between the Algoma Sluggers and Springville Cardinals finally took place last Sunday after numerous weather delays. An overcast day made it easier on the pitchers, and they did their jobs. Springville left handed starter Chance Witt (student at East Mississippi), with an overpowering fastball and pin point control, pitched a complete game no-hitter while striking out 19 batters. In the 2nd through 4th innings he came within one batter of striking out the side 3 innings in succession, and he did again in the 7th. Except for a brief stent of relief in the 8th right hander Ramone Boone also pitched the majority of the game for Algoma. Remarkedly, he was almost the winning pitcher despite the Sluggers being no hit by the Cardinals.
Boone and the Sluggers struggled in the first, giving up the first Cardinal run on an infield error and hits by Braxton Sudduth and M.J. McWhorter. They then shut out the Cardinals through the 6th inning. Algoma was aided by a double play in the 3rd and fantastic fielding play in the 4th by shortstop Clay Pitts, who ran deep into left field to make a big play on a long pop fly to rob the Cardinals of a double or triple. They got solid pitching by Boone, who gave up only hits to the Cardinals' McWhorter in the 3rd and 5th and a double to Will Hawkins in the 6th.
In the 4th Algoma’s Nick Ratliff drew the first of 3 walks off Witt on the day. Whitt had him picked off, but in the run down an errant throw went into deep right field and Ratliff scored all the way from first to tie the game. Still 1-1 in the 7th, Ratliff drew another walk, stole second and advanced to 3rd on a bunt by pitcher Ramone Boone that was botched on a fielding error. Ratliff then came home to score the go- ahead run for the Sluggers on a passed ball, making it 2-1. Lightning almost caused the game to be called, and the Cardinals would have lost 2-1 even though the Sluggers were being no-hit.
However, the Cardinals got 2 runs in the home half of the 7th to retake the lead. Springville scored off of 2 Algoma infield errors, a hit by Yates, a bunt hit by Shane Williams and sacrifice fly by Witt. Algoma gave up 2 more in the 8th off of hits by Williams, Andre Yates, and J.R. Bean, as well as a walk and 2 hit batsmen to make the final score 5-2.