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09/03/2007 4:35 PM ET
Francisco's .318 average was Tops in the League
First Bisons' batting title since 1994

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Buffalo Bisons' outfielder Ben Francisco has won the International League's 2007 Batting Title. Francisco's .318 batting average (120-377) was the top qualifying mark in the IL this season.

Hitters must have 2.7 plate appearances per team games to have their batting average qualify among the league's best.

Francisco becomes the Bisons first batting champion since Mark Ryal hit .334 in 1990 in the American Association. It is Buffalo's first batting title in the International League since 1961 when Ted Savage hit .325 on his way to being named the IL's Most Valuable Player.

This is the second batting title for Francisco in his career. In 2002, -his first season as a pro- Francisco posted a .349 batting (82-235) with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the NY-Penn League.

Francisco was named an IL post season All-Star following a consistent campaign at the plate. He hit .319 in 19 games in April, earning his first ever Major League promotion. He returned to Buffalo on May 4 and put together a 19-game hit streak from May 9-June 7 where he hit .423 (33-78). He spent a month with the Cleveland Indians, June 22-July 28, before being optioned down to the Bisons for August. In his third stint with the Herd, he had a 15-game hit streak from August 2-16 (.381, 24-63) to take command of the IL batting charts.

Francisco's 120 hits with the Bisons were second on the team only to Ryan Mulhern (138). His 40 multi-hit games were T1st (Mulhern) while 41 of his hits went for extra bases (27 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs). Francisco hit .343 (60-175) in front of Buffalo fans at Dunn Tire Park.

-herd-