After Southern Illinois' first batter (Nathan Emrick) collected a single on the first pitch of the game, Mullins retired 15 consecutive batters, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the final two batters he faced in the seventh to finish with a total of 12. His previous high was eight at South Carolina, March 30, 2003. Mullins pitched seven innings facing 23 batters giving up three hits with no walks.
"I was pretty consistent with my curve ball today and was throwing it for strikes and my velocity is up a little from last year," Mullins said. "The changeup is getting there."
"I see a year of experience," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "He has been paying attention to Sowers (Jeremy) and he knows that he has to pitch inside."
The Commodores scored three runs in the first inning before registering an out. Ryan Klosterman singled to left and stole second. Center fielder Antoan Richardson singled on a bunt, advancing Klosterman to third. Richardson then stole second followed by a double by Warner Jones that scored Klosterman and Richardson. Jones then stole third and scored when Cesar Nicolas reached base on an error by SIU third baseman Nathan Boldt.
Jones then hit a solo home run in the fifth over the 35-foot wall in left field giving the Commodores a 4-0 lead. Vanderbilt scored 11 runs in the next three innings, including four in the sixth, four in the seventh and three in the eighth.
Jones went 4-for-5 in the game with two runs and a career-high six RBI. For the series, Jones was 8-13 with a .615 batting average and totaled two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.
"I was doing a better job of standing inside the ball today," Jones said. "It's great that I have the two guys ahead of me that I do (Klosterman and Richardson)."
"(Jones) is a better hitter this year than last," Corbin said. "Both of his home runs this weekend were shoetop balls that last year might not have cleared the infield. He drove in runs when we needed them and that was a nice job."
Vanderbilt totaled eight stolen bases, including three in the first inning, with two each from Klosterman, Richardson, Jones and Mike Baxter (Fr., DH).
Ryan Davis picked up the loss for the Salukis giving up five hits and four runs (four earned) in five innings. Southern Illinois committed four errors in the contest.
The Commodores totaled 37 runs in the series numbering double-digit runs in each of the three games (12-6, 10-8, 15-0). It marked the first time the Commodores scored in double digits in three consecutive games since the 2000 season (10-7 and 14-13 vs. Georgia and 10-3 vs. Evansville).
"The confidence level is starting to show up a lot and that wasn't there a lot last year," Corbin said.
"In order to sweep a team, it takes an extra effort mentally and physically," Corbin added. "When I got to the locker room this morning, I could see the guys were focused on the game."
Vanderbilt hosts Lipscomb Tuesday at 4 pm at Hawkins Field. All tickets are $1 in February.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Southern Illinois 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
Vanderbilt 3 0 0 0 1 4 4 3 x 15 15 1
Win: Ryan Mullins (1-0)
Loss: Ryan Davis (0-2)
Time of Game: 2:30