Chris Lisowski wanted to thoroughly wash his hands of the situation.
Baseball dugouts are not equipped with hot water or soap dispensers, however, so he wound up finding a different way to cover his hands.
Through the first six innings of a Catholic South baseball game that became a classic, Lisowski owned an 0-for-3 collar and had not, literally, directed anything beyond the infield.
Then he noticed . . .
Hey, check it out, there's a very slight tear in one of my brand new batting gloves. They're white and they do look very cool. But my black ones, as ugly as they are, are right there in my equipment bag and our team's original attempt to change our luck (every player's pants extended down only to the knees in old-school fashion) has not worked to this point, so . . .
Archbishop Carroll High's primary color is red. Yesterday, ultimately, the kid who's headed for Delaware and wants to be an accountant put the Patriots in the black.
Lisowski, a 5-10, 200-pound, lefty-swinging designated hitter and first baseman, finished 2-for-5 with three runs batted in.
He ripped a single to right to highlight a two-run visiting seventh as Carroll claimed a one-run lead, and then one inning later fired a two-run double into the leftfield corner.
Those two stood up and the Patriots bested Kennedy-Kenrick, 6-4, in eight innings.
"That was an awesome game!" Lisowski enthused.
That was especially so because Lisowski, a Phoenixville resident, knows maybe half of the Wolverines from his days playing grade-school baseball.
"They have a lot of talent," he said. "It's just a matter of which team shows up for them. It's like that with a lot of teams."
Lisowski began this game as the DH. He went to first base in the bottom of the seventh as senior righthander Chris Dengler, who earned the win, switched over from third and Kyle Baker, the original first baseman, assumed Dengler's original spot.
"I don't find that I hit much different when I DH or don't DH," Lisowski said. "But when you're in the field, you have to forget [about failure] and go right back out there ready to make plays. As a DH, there's time to sulk . . . well, not sulk, but you know what I mean. You keep thinking about it.
"I was seeing good pitches early, but I was swinging over top of the ball and not making good contact . . . Then I cleared my head, and did."
With a laugh, Lisowski described his white gloves as having "a bad-a-- look."
But he knows: results of games look better in the W column.
"I feel like you're going to be seeing a lot more of it," he said, referring to the Patriots' high-pants look. Ditto for the black gloves.
"I don't think of myself as being superstitious, really, but . . . " he said. "The tear was pretty small. I could have kept wearing them. Just trying to change things up."
Tim Weglicki accounted for Carroll's first two runs with RBI simgles in the second and sixth. Nick Szalejko began the seventh by drawing a walk. He stole second one out later and Dengler hit a BB right at K-K senior righthander Tom Mahoney, who could only deflect the ball with his glove. An infield single resulted. Lisowski, the cleanup hitter, followed with his RBI single to right. Christian Walker's two-out infield throwing error allowed the second run to score.
Walker, a sophomore infielder, redeemed himself in the bottom half of the seventh, rocketing an RBI double within maybe 15 feet of the 393 sign in dead center to tie it at 4-4. With two runners still on, and with the K-K players making serious let's-end-this noise in front of their dugout, Dengler kept the game going by notching a strikeout.
Pete Coppa opened the eighth against K-K reliever Sal Spera with a ground single to center. A sacrifice was compounded by a throwing error and K-K coach Tony Biello opted to issue Ryan Murtagh a play-the-percentages intentional walk, thus loading 'em. Dengler popped out, then Lisowski uncorked his biggie.
"I knew both of my hits were gonna be nice," he said. "On the second one, I actually slipped in a fist pump while heading to first."
Only one guy was on base, and not in scoring position, for Lisowski's first three at-bats. Then came widen-the-eyes situations.
"When your setup guys get on base for you, and they need you to come through in a big spot, time to step up," he said.
When you do, you deserve a hand. Gloved or not. *