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Brock Reller sets Royals HR record in 18-4 win

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Brock Reller didn't know who held the Grand Forks Royals' career record for home runs, nor what the number was.

Today, the record belongs to Reller. He hit two home runs Tuesday as the Royals pulled away to an 18-4 American Legion baseball win at East Grand Forks. The game ended after five innings by the 10-run rule.

The two home runs -- the first to center field, the second to right field -- gave the left-handed hitting Reller 26 home runs in his four-year Royals career. The previous team record of 24 home runs was held by Brian DeVillers.

"I had no idea what the record was,'' Reller said. "I never knew what it was. I am seeing the ball really well right now. I hope that continues.''

Reller is hitting .615 this season, with 30 of his 40 hits for extra bases including eight home runs. He's coming off a season of junior college ball.

"Playing in college has had an impact for Brock,'' Royals coach Nick Chine said. "He saw high-level college pitching. He's playing relaxed. He's hitting everything -- singles, doubles, triples, home runs. He's not an all-or-nothing hitter, but he has a lot of power.''

The Royals were behind 4-1 after two innings.

But they sent 10 batters to the plate in scoring five runs in the third. Grand Forks added three more runs in the fourth, then sent 14 batters to the plate in a 9-run fifth inning.

Reller finished 3-for-3 with six RBI and three runs. Parker Monette and Parker Stroh each also had three hits and scored three runs. Monette, Stroh and Noah Chine each added two RBI in the outburst.

With 18 runs and 13 hits, it was an up side for an up-and-down hitting season. "Hitting has probably been the most consistent aspect of our game, the thing we've done best,'' Nick Chine said. "But we haven't hit consistently like this.''

Alex Mushitz had two hits to lead EGF's six-hit offense. East Grand Forks is in a stretch of playing 10 games in seven days.

"It's a long week for us,'' EGF assistant coach Mike Lukkason said. "You only have so many arms to use. We were throwing guys who haven't thrown a lot of innings. They were getting behind in counts, and Grand Forks has good enough hitters that they make you pay for those situations.''

The Royals improved to 12-10 with their fifth win in their last six games. East Grand Forks dropped to 9-7.