Sophomore right-hander Matt Buschmann improved his record to 6-1 on the year, giving up two earned runs in 5-1/3 innings of work. Sophomore righthander Jensen Lewis entered in the sixth with the bases loaded and gave up only one hit in 2-2/3 innings of relief to set up the game for Rote.
The win improved Vanderbilt's record to 33-14 (12-12 SEC). Tennessee fell to 34-15 (12-12 in conference).
After Vanderbilt grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, the teams traded single runs in the third and sixth innings to complete the scoring.
In the first, Mike Baxter doubled home Klosterman, who had drawn a leadoff walk. In the third, Antoan Richardson reached on a single and stole second and third before scoring on a throwing error by catcher Nick Crowe.
Tennessee answered in the bottom of the frame, snapping an 11-inning scoreless streak, as Eli Iorg drove home Eric King who reached on a one-out single, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Ryan Klosterman launched his fourth home run of the season to lead off the sixth inning and put the Commodores up 3-1. The Vols loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Kyle Norrid and Chris Kemp and an intentional walk, but could only plate one run on a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Vols mounted another threat in the eighth, as Chris Kemp led off with a double. He was replaced by pinch runner Rob Fitzgerald who took third on a deep fly to center. After a ground out to the pitcher and a walk, Brian Cleveland popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
Rote picked up the save by retiring the Vols in order in the ninth. Vanderbilt has now defeated Tennessee in five of the teams' last six contests.
Sean Watson (4-4) took the loss as he worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up just four hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Patrick Hicklen finished the game with 3 1/3 no-hit shutout innings, striking out three.
Vanderbilt hosts Samford at 6 pm Wednesday before a weekend trip to Baton Rouge, La. for a three-game series vs. LSU.