Dalton’s Cougars are one game from perfection.

The Cougars, getting two-hit pitching from Toombs Norman over five innings, defeated North Whitfield, 8-2, Friday in the North Georgia Middle School Athletic League baseball tournament semifinals in Chatsworth.

Norman (5-0) struck out eight, giving up hits to Connor Jones and Josh Swinford.

“Toombs did a great job, as he has all season,” Dalton coach Scott Houghton said.

The Cougars (16-0) advanced to today’s championship game where they will play Bagley at 10:30 a.m. at Murray County High School’s field.

Bagley beat Westside, 10-0, in a six-inning game that followed Dalton’s victory.

The Cougars scored two runs in the first and second inning and one in the fourth to take control of the game. They iced the victory with a three-run sixth, highlighted by Blake Raber’s two-run single. Raber, who was 2-for-4, also drove in a run in the first inning.

Norman and Will Kiker each went 2-for-3.

“We really played well in spots,” Houghton said. “North Whitfield came right after us, but we were focused and I was pleased with our effort. We’re real happy to be in the championship game. We’re going to give

it our best shot and see what happens.”

Houghton said he was unsure of his title-game starter, but can choose between four players — Norman, Kiker, Alex Roberts and Raber.

“I’ve got a pretty good idea, but I just haven’t made up my mind,” Houghton said.

North Whitfield coach Tony Crossen said Jones had two of the team’s five hits. Swinford, Colter Creswell and Jake Douglas had the other hits for the Pioneers (10-7).

— Bagley 10, Westside 0: Chris Hammontree and Blake Thompson did plenty of damage for the Braves (12-3) on the mound and at the plate.

Each pitched three innings in the four-hit shutout, with Thompson starting and allowing two hits and three walks while striking out two, while Hammontree gave up two hits while striking out four and walking four.

Offensively, Thompson had two hits — including a double — with three RBIs, while Hammontree had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. Tyler Timms walked twice, had one of Bagley’s 10 hits and scored three runs.

For Westside (13-4), Tyler Shepard and Daniel Kuvin each had a single and a walk.

Bagley coach John Riddle was happy to see his team put together a solid game with a championship berth on the line.

“It wasn’t anything really flashy,” he said. “It was just taking care of business.”

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