Series Secured

Commodores use early surge to sink Illinois-Chicago

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fourth-ranked Vanderbilt scored nine times in the opening two frames and rode a dominant start from right-hander Kumar Rocker to a series-clinching 9-3 victory Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (5-2) received 12 strikeouts from a starting pitcher for third time this week. Rocker (2-0) joined Jack Leiter (Tuesday) and Mason Hickman (Friday) in the feat while limiting the Flames (0-6) to two hits, one run and a walk across six innings.

After Illinois-Chicago grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, the Commodores pushed across five runs on as many hits in the home half. Vanderbilt sent nine batters to the plate highlighted by a two-run double from Isaiah Thomas, who stretched his hit streak to seven games.

The club produced four runs on five hits in the second including three consecutive doubles from Davis, CJ Rodriguez and Austin Martin , respectively, to begin the frame. On the afternoon, the Commodores batted .476 (10-for-21) with runners aboard including .571 (8-for-14) with runners in scoring position.

Martin (3-for-5) scored two runs and led the team in hits. Seven different Commodores logged at least one hit including Parker Noland (2-for-4), Rodriguez (2-for-5), Duvall (2-for-4) and Ray (2-for-4) who finished with two. Justyn-Henry Malloy (1-for-2) recorded a career-best three walks and scored twice.

Illinois-Chicago starter Nick Oliff (0-2) was tagged for nine runs on 11 hits alongside three walks. The right-hander, who faced 29 batters, did not record a strikeout while permitting five doubles in 4.2 innings.

Vanderbilt looks for the three-game sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Commodores will send southpaw Jake Eder (0-0, 5.40 ERA) to the mound. The matchup can be seen on SEC Network Plus and heard on WNSR 95.9 FM/560 AM. Tickets are available by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by visiting