Staten Island's Mid Island Little League team won its Regional Championship and advanced to the Little League World Series.
The team, now known as team Mid Atlantic, will face off against Des Moines Iowa's Grandview Little League team at 3 p.m. Thursday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Thanks in part to the dominance of pitcher Gregory Bruno, who threw a perfect game last weekend to help his team advance, Mid Island has a chance to become the second State Island team to ever win the Little League World Series.
Mid Island is the only team from the five boroughs to ever win a Little League World Series, having last done so in 1964.
Coach Joe Calabrese is optimistic about his team's chances. In a sign of his roster's depth, Calabrese is spelling his young flamethrower for Thursday afternoon's game in preparation for what should be an even more difficult second game of the tournament.
The team is trying to raise money to help offset its travel expenses this month, which will begin to pile up if it advances again.
Coach Calabrese has set up a GoFundMe for the families of his players. In just 15 days, the team has raised more than two-thirds of its $35,000 goal.
Calabrese has pledged to withdraw the money and distribute the funds directly to families of team members.
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