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RailRiders clinch IL North with methodical win over Herd

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders clinched the International League North Division title Thursday night. The RailRiders defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 6-1, at Coca-Cola Field. Combined with Rochester defeating Lehigh Valley, 1-0, Scranton took the divisional title.

The RailRiders took a 4-0 lead in the second, starting with a solo home run from Chris Parmelee and continuing with RBI singles from Cito Culver, Mason Williams and Cesar Puello.

The Bisons got on the board in the third with an RBI single from Jesus Montero but couldn’t generate any more offense. The RailRiders added two runs in the eighth.

The Herd finished 34-38 at home this season and were outscored 308-248 at Coca-Cola Field.

Roster moves: The Toronto Blue Jays signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor league deal Thursday and he promptly was in the Bisons’ lineup, playing center and leading off. Berry, 31, stole 35 bases in 100 games with the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City earlier this season and has 27 steals in 125 career Major League games.

Award winners: The Bisons announced their team award winners before the game. Jesus Montero was named the team’s Stan Barron Most Valuable Player and Dustin Antolin the Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher. Scott Diamond won the Jimmy Griffin Hometown Hero Award given to the player who performs the best in home games. Casey Lawrence was the Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player of the Year after going 0-1 with a 9.24 ERA in his first three starts with the Herd, then going 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 11 games with the Bisons. Chad Girodo won the Frank J. “Fremo” Vallone Community Service Award while Casey Kotchman was named the Joe DeSa Most Inspirational Player.

Booster Club: The Buffalo Bisons Booster Club presented its awards before the game. Andy Burns was the named the favorite player, Scott Diamond the favorite pitcher and Matt Dominguez the unsung hero. The club presented manager Gary Allenson with a color photo of buildings in Buffalo set up to spell out the word “Buffalo.”

Fan of the Year: Andy Lange was named the Joe Byron Fan of the Year. The 48-year old resident of Tonawanda has been a season ticket holder for the last 12 years sharing his tickets with his brother Cameron and his wife Melanie.

WCC Race: The biggest news of the night is that Celery announced after the game that 2017 will be its last season. In the final race of the season, Wing took the win and the 2016 title, edging Atomic.

Counting the house: There were 13,857 at Coca-Cola Field Thursday night.

Up next: The Bisons finish the season with four road games. They play Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Friday and Saturday in Moosic, Pa., then travel to Pawtucket for Sunday and Monday games against the Red Sox. Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 3.92) is scheduled to start for the Bisons Friday against Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 0.00).


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