The No. 20 Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team defeated the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) 11-0 in seven innings on Saturday to remain perfect to start the season.

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Sophomore starter Ben Hess notched his second win of the season, with a solid outing of 5.2 innings pitched and eight strikeouts on 88 pitches. Alton Davis II earned the save, his first of the season. The two combined for a one-hit shutout.

Offensively, the Tide got off to a relatively slow start, with just three hits total in the first four innings. However, it would be a drastically different story in the next few innings.

In the fifth inning, it was Colby Shelton getting things started for the Tide with a two run homer to right field, with Andrew Pinckney following with a home run of his own to give Alabama a two-run lead.

The offense exploded in the sixth inning. Dominic Tavez started things with an RBI single, and Colby Shelton homered once again, this time being a grand slam. It’s the third game in a row in which Alabama has hit a grand slam, and the sixth home run this season from the outstanding freshman.

In the seventh inning, Max Williams hit a two-run double as a pinch hitter to reach the run rule, giving Alabama the victory. It’s the Crimson Tide’s third victory this season by way of the run rule.

“I think the guys did a great job of not getting frustrated and kept on having great at-bats,” assistant coach Jason Jackson said. “You knew you were going to get through eventually if you keep having those good at-bats.”

Alabama moves to 11-0 on the season, and plays UIC once again tomorrow, March 5, at 12 p.m. CT with the chance for a series sweep.

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