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LI's journey to Little League World Series begins

Southampton 12-year-olds are the District 36 champions. Friday

Southampton 12-year-olds are the District 36 champions. Friday marks the start of Long Island’s eight district champions competing for the sectional, state and regional titles -- potentially earning a spot as the Mid-Atlantic representative at this year’s 66th Little League World Series. Credit: Handout

Dozens of baseball players on Long Island are embarking on their journey to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Tonight marks the start of Long Island’s eight district champions competing for the sectional, state and regional titles -- potentially earning a spot as the Mid-Atlantic representative at this year’s 66th Little League World Series.

This year’s district champs in the 12-year-old group are:

District 28: Port Washington

District 29: New Hyde Park

District 30: Lynbrook

District 31: North Bellmore-North Merrick

District 32: Plainview

District 34: Commack South

District 35: Sayville

District 36: Southampton

The sectional winner from Long Island will continue on to the state championships. Then one team from New York will earn its spot in Bristol, Conn. for a chance to represent the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Little League World Series begins in Williamsport on Aug. 16.

From its humble beginnings in 1947 as a small tournament for the few known organized Little Leagues, the event has exploded into an international phenomenon, drawing thousands to Williamsport and millions more that tune every year to see the best Little League baseball in the world on ESPN.

Games on Long Island start tonight.

Plainview takes on Commack South at Central Nassau Field, Westbury, 5:45 p.m.

Sayville plays Southampton at Sunrise Field, Oakdale, 5:45 p.m.

Port Washington battles North Bellmore-North Merrick at Lions Field, Port Washington, 6 p.m.

Check newsday.com/linow for updates on Long Island’s road to Williamsport.