Mullins did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, when Josh Alley singled on a full count with two away. Kyle Norrid reached base to lead off the seventh inning but was forced out at second on a double play to end the inning. Eli Iorg and Norrid both singled in the bottom of the ninth with one away, but Alex Suarez grounded out into a double play to end the contest.
"I'm pretty shocked... I've been kind of sick this week (sore throat) and I didn't know what to expect," Mullins said of his performance. "I pitched pretty well and all of my pitches were working for me today."
Vanderbilt improved to 32-14, 11-12 in the SEC, while Tennessee dropped to 34-14, 12-11. The series is now tied at 1-1.
Vanderbilt scored in the first inning when Ryan Klosterman singled to left field; moved to second on a wild pitch by Craig Cobb; advanced to third on a Warner Jones groundout and scored when Worth Scott hit a single down the middle. The Commodores added one more in the third. Jones hit his third triple of the season to lead off the inning and scored when Cesar Nicolas hit a single down the middle for his team-leading 53rd RBI.
UT's Craig Cobb picked up his first loss of the season and is now 3-1. He pitched the entire game giving up two runs (both earned) on eight hits, while striking out five and walking three.
Mullins walked two and struck out five, surpassing last season's strikeout total of 64. He now totals 66 on the season. The Commodores recorded 17 ground outs in the game, including two double plays.
"(Mullins) has pitched progressively well all year," Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "He had a good outing last week and we needed a big game from him today. We figured if he could put the ball in play we could take care of the ball defensively because that's our strength."
The final game of the series is Sunday at 2 pm ET. Matt Buschmann (3.15, 5-1) will take the mound for the Commodores.