With Brian Biggers on second and no one out in a tie game, Salt Lake leadoff man Jim Martin tried twice to lay down a sacrifice and missed. "Shows you how smart I am," said Trapper Manager Nick Belmonte. "Here I am trying to bunt a guy who's trying to get a triple."

Martin did just that, lashing a three-bagger to right-center to plate Biggers, then scoring himself on an error to give the Trappers a 6-4 win in the middle game of a critical Derks Field series with Butte's Copper Kings."That's the ballgame," said Butte Manager Bump Wills, looking at Martin's triple and the ball thrown away.

Game 3 is tonight at Derks. Butte won the first game Saturday 8-3 to lead the Pioneer South by half a game over Salt Lake going into Sunday's game. Now the Traps are half a game up.

The Kings once led Sunday 4-1. "We let 'em back in," said Wills.

Martin's two-run single in the second inning cut the lead to 4-3, and starting pitcher Ken Whitworth began concentrating more on each pitch than on the overall game and found success.

Whitworth held the Copper Kings, the league's top-hitting team, scoreless for his remaining 5 2/3 innings and left in the eighth with a lead and, eventually, his fifth win against two losses.

"The kid hung tough for them," Wills said of Whitworth.

Pat Jurado bailed Whitworth out with two on and two out in the eighth by getting a strikeout. He allowed one baserunner in the ninth to pick up his fifth save.

The first two innings, Butte looked like a runaway winner, hanging four runs on seven hits and a Trapper error on Whitworth. "I was just getting the fastball up. Sometimes it takes a little time to settle in," said Whitworth, who weathered many such situations at Cal-Irvine, where he was 13-4 pitching mainly complete games. "I have a past of finishing strong," he says.

Whitworth might have had to leave in the second when, with two out, Rusty Greer hit an RBI double. Instead, second baseman Biggers caught Martin's throw-in from left and swiped at Greer sliding in. Greer beat the throw but caught a spike in Biggers' glove, and as Biggers swiped, Greer's foot came off the base hooked to the glove. He was out. Wills said he should have been safe if Biggers pulled his foot off the base, "But I'm not going to gripe about it. I felt confident we were going to score more."

They didn't.

Whitworth gave up one hit in the third and took out three in a row in the fourth, fifth and sixth before a bunt single in the seventh and a bouncer through the box to start the eighth.

The Trappers got one in the first when Mike Moberg scored on Kevin McMullan's hard-hit, two-out double to left. McMullan leads the Pioneer in RBI.

A Wayne Stofsky single opened the second, and John Urcioli singled to move him to second. A wild pitch moved both runners up and, with two out, Martin's single to center scored two runs.

The tying run, in the sixth, also came with two away. Rob Bargas, Stofsky and Steve Keighley singled consecutively for the equalizer.

"Two-out RBIs win you championships," says Belmonte.