Penn State v. Nebraska, Justin Williams (33)

Justin Williams (33) sliding into second base during a game against the University of Nebraska. Penn State lost the game 8-2 at Medlar Field on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Penn State opened its weekend series against Rutgers with a win at home Friday.

The Nittany Lions beat the Scarlet Nights 7-3 in the first game of a four-game set. The win was their second straight and moved Penn State to 14-20 on the year.

After a scoreless first inning, the blue and white broke out for a multitude of runs in the second.

Justin Williams led off the bottom of the second second inning with a solo home run to give Penn State an early 1-0 lead, but the scoring didn’t stop there.

A two-RBI double from Jay Harry down the third-base line gave Penn State a 3-0 lead with two outs in the inning. Two singles scored two more runs for Penn State in the inning as its lead moved to 5-0 before Matt Wood was picked off to end the inning.

Rutgers registered a run in three straight innings against Bailey Dees to bring the score to 5-3 by the end of the top of the sixth.

The Nittany Lions added a couple of insurance runs thanks to the bat of freshman catcher Josh Spiegel. In the sixth, Spiegel hit a solo home run to lead off the inning and he added an RBI double in the eighth to give Penn State a 7-3 lead.

Mason Mellott registered a three-inning save for the Nittany Lions after Dees pitched six innings.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Penn State’s win.

Dees gets it done

Dees did well to keep Rutgers batters at bay Friday.

In six innings of work, Dees threw 83 pitches and struck out five batters. He gave up just five hits and walked and hit one batter.

Dees started out his start with three straight scoreless innings before faltering a bit. In his last three innings, Dees allowed one run to score in each frame.

Despite the struggles, Dees gathered his fourth win of the season for Penn State. His record moved to 4-3 on the season.

Big offense in the second

Penn State went through their entire starting lineup in the second inning of Friday’s game.

The Nittany Lions registered five runs on six hits and a walk in the inning. Four different Nittany Lions registered at least one RBI in the inning.

The inning was started by Williams’ solo home run and ended with Williams still at the plate for Penn State.

Williams does it all

Williams was all over the stat sheet for Penn State on Friday.

Williams finished the day 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a double and a walk. The sophomore improved his batting average to .312 and put up his fifteenth RBI of the season.

Williams also made a couple of difficult plays defensively for the Nittany Lions in the third inning. The first of two was a charging play where he had to throw partly across his body to register the second out of the inning.

The third baseman registered four defensive assists on the day, bringing his season total to 52.

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