HOUSTON (AP) — Jorge Polanco had four hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in four runs to lead the Minnesota Twins to their fourth straight win, 9-5 over the Houston Astros. Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz had RBI singles around Polanco’s two-run single in a four-run sixth as the Twins built a 7-1 lead. Polanco homered in the eighth. Jake Odorizzi won his second straight start, allowing two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Houston has lost four of five since a 10-game winning streak.
DES MOINES — Several area athletes are getting ready for this weekend’s Drake Relays in Des Moines after qualifying for the event.
== For the second straight season, the NIACC men’s 4×100-meter relay team qualified for the Drake Relays. NIACC will run in heat five of the college division on Friday morning at Drake Stadium. The Trojans will run Timothi McMaster, Kyle Younker, Kalen Eastman and Brendan Hoy. The Trojans qualified for the Drake Relays with a time of 42.35 seconds with a first-place finish at Drake’s Blue Oval Classic on April 13. Last season, the quartet of McMaster, Prince Boduo, Eastman and Deionte Ganzy ran 42.47 in the 4×100 at the Drake Relays and placed 18th out of 31 teams.
== Local high school qualifiers include:
Boys 3200 — Reece Smith, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
Boys 110 hurdles — Josef Smith, West Hancock; Logan Benjegerdes, Northwood-Kensett
Boys discus — Aizik Hodak, Central Springs
Girls 100 hurdles — Paige Kisley, Osage
Girls 4×100 relay — Mason City, Osage
Girls high jump — Libby Schwamman, Osage
Girls discus — Brenna Paulson, North Iowa
Girls shot put — Amanda Chizek, West Hancock; Abby Marr, Riceville
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa volunteer assistant coach John Raffensperger, a long-time Iowa high school educator and Hall of Fame track and field coach, died Monday at his home in Iowa City.
The man known to many as “Raff” is regarded as one of the greatest high school track and field coaches in the state of Iowa. As head coach of Iowa City High School, he became the first coach to win 10 Iowa high school state championships. He was elected to the Iowa Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997 and retired in 2003. Iowa City High’s track has since been named John Raffensperger Track.
Raff returned to the track in 2007, joining the Hawkeye program with former prep standout and current Iowa head coach Joey Woody. The 2019 season was his 13th on the Hawkeye coaching staff.
Raff worked on the Iowa football and basketball statistical crews for 50 years. In 2012, he was named an honorary letterwinner at the University of Iowa. His father, Leonard Raffensperger, was Iowa football head coach from 1950-51.
He and his wife, Sharon, were married more than 50 years and lived in Iowa City. The have two sons and three grandchildren.
OKOBOJI – NIACC sophomore Ben Boerjan shot a 72 to earn meet medalist honors at the Iowa Lakes Invitational on Monday.
NIACC placed fourth in the team standings with a 311.
Also for NIACC, Zach Martin shot a season-best 76, Austin Eckenrod shot a 79, Jackson Hamiln shot a 84, Matthew Heinemann shot a 84 and John Patterson shot a 90.
The Region XI men’s tournament is set for May 4-5 at Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames.
AMES — Iowa State’s coordinators were able to focus on the big picture without handling a position group and Cyclone coach Matt Campbell feels the moves paid dividends. Jon Heacock previously coached the safeties but is now only focused on his role as defensive coordinator.
After a year with the Indianapolis Colts Tom Manning is back directing the Cyclone offense. In his previous stint at ISU Manning also coached the offensive line.
The Cyclones have plenty of experience returning from last year’s 8-5 team and that includes special teams.
Iowa State wrapped up spring drills late last week
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired guard Alexis Jones from the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for guard Odyssey Sims. Jones shot 38% from 3-point range and 86% from the free throw line in a limited role during her rookie season last year. Sparks general manager Penny Toler cited Jones’ experience in winning the 2017 WNBA championship with the Lynx as a benefit of the deal.