In an unconventional edition of the annual Kamin Cup, the final result was just more of the same.
The Daily Pennsylvanian's sports department (DPOSTM) extended its winning streak over the rest of the company, non-athletic regular people (NARPs), by a final score of 9-5 in a nine-inning kickball game on Ace Adams Field this Saturday.
The yearly showdown was pushed back from its usual date in December due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was changed from football to a more social distance-friendly sport.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the department after today’s showing,” DPOSTM senior Will DiGrande said after the win, celebratory White Claw in hand. “It was a total team effort up and down the lineup, and I think our team chemistry really showed out there.”
DPOSTM kicked off the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back.
Last year's editors Michael Landau and DiGrande combined to hold the NARPs to one run in the first four innings before a two-run home run from DPOSTM freshman Andrew Lopez in the bottom of the fourth sent the bench into a frenzy.
The fifth inning could have been a turning point in the game's momentum, as the NARPs strung together a series of hits to load the bases with one out, but poorly timed baserunning led to a double play and cut the opportunity short.
Earning unanimous MVP notoriety was DPOSTM freshman Coby Rich, who caught at least five pop-ups in left field to stifle the NARP offense, including one off-balance grab where Rich maintained control while falling backwards.
Morale was high throughout the DPOSTM roster, as the lead grew to six late in the game. Senior Tyira Bunche led the team in frequent chants to keep the energy up right when it was needed.
Earning the win from the mound was a power sextet of current and former editors. Seniors Landau, DiGrande, and Danny Chiarodit provided veteran experience, while sophomores Brandon Pride, Lochlahn March, and Nicky Belgrad came up clutch with inspiring performances of their own.
“Kickball is called soccer-baseball in Canada,” Toronto native March said. “Fun fact!”
NARP senior pitcher Chase Sutton of multimedia threw a complete game in the loss and made a number of valuable short catches to keep his team in it.
A rally appeared to be on in the top of the ninth when DP President and junior Dane Greisiger blasted a solo homer to cut the lead to four, but the NARPs couldn’t finish off the comeback.
"Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique," said Maria Murad of multimedia and opinion, the unofficial NARP and official Mariarmy captain. "Completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, crap on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it."
Drama arose even before the contest began when organizers forgot to order a kickball, nearly forcing a switch to soccer. However, a last-minute Five Below trip by DiGrande and March provided the necessary equipment in the nick of time.
“There was no way we were going to play soccer,” March said. “I actually wanted to play hockey, but no one agreed with me, so I settled for soccer-baseball.”
The last time the NARPs clinched victory in the storied rivalry was in 2016, after DPOSTM traded away talented rookies in a disastrous pregame move to even up the two lineups. They'll have to wait another year for glory — but they will probably come up short again.