Prior to the start of the campaign, Belfast baseball coach George Ross said that while his team was playing well defensively during the preseason, he hoped the Lions’ bats would come to life by the time the regular season rolled around.

His hopes have been answered in a big way through the first two games of the season, most recently Monday afternoon as the Lions traveled to Waldoboro to face host Medomak Valley.

The Lions (2-0) pounced on the Panthers (0-2) in the first inning, plating three runs and breaking the game open in the middle innings as they roared to their second win of the season by an 11-3 score. Belfast had beaten Mount View of Thorndike 12-2 over the weekend to start the campaign.

On Monday, the top hitters for the Lions included Derrick Bernosky (double, single, 3 runs), Nick Thibodeau (2 doubles, run), Eric Peters (2 singles, run), Jack Davis (triple, run), Josh Beal (double, 2 runs), Matt Steinort (double, run), A.J. Chasse (single, run) and Cote Ward (single, run).

Leading the Panthers were Taylor Williamson (home run), Isaac Durkee (double, single), Steven Genthner (2 singles, run), Isaac Greenrose (2 singles), Dillon Reed (2 singles) and Alex Greenrose (single).

Shane Osier and Isaac Durkee shared pitching duties for Medomak Valley, allowing 11 hits and four walks, with four strikeouts. Peters and Bernosky each took the hill for Belfast, scattering a combined 10 hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts.

Two games into the season Belfast has had no trouble plating runs, as they have a combined 23 through its first two contests. The Lions also routed Mount View 12-2 in six innings Saturday.

“I’m really happy with [the way we’ve been swinging the bats],” said Ross. “In the preseason, defense and pitching was more of our thing. But I’ll definitely take it. This offense has been wonderful.”

Bernosky singled to start the game for Belfast and took second on a Medomak Valley fielding error. After the next two batters were retired, Ward drew a walk and Bernosky took third on another Panther error. A balk by pitcher Osier then put the Lions on the board as Bernosky trotted in from third base. Beal later scored on a close play at the plate, but the ball was dislodged from catcher Genthner on contact as Beal slapped the plate.

Steinort then doubled in Ward, who reached on an error, to put Belfast ahead 3-0 in the early going.

Medomak Valley coach Richie Oliver said his team will continue to have a hard time on the field if they cannot find a way to stop giving the opposition extra chances at the plate through errors and walks. The Panthers committed five errors, three of which came in the first inning.

But what impressed the first-year Panther coach the most was how fired up Belfast was from the moment they took the field until the final out was recorded, adding, “We don’t do that.”

“We do it in spurts, but not the whole game,” he said. “That’s what I think impressed me the most [about Belfast]. I like to see a team stay up the whole game and not get down. Maybe that comes with experience. They’ve got an experienced group and some good leaders so maybe that’s the difference.”

That, and his depleted pitching staff. Oliver has a handful of players out currently due to injury, including number one starter Chris Benedict and senior Dustin Osier. Oliver added that his pitching staff is going through growing pains, but hopes it can come out of it before midseason.

Williamson hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the third inning to bring Medomak Valley within two runs, while Genthner and Alex Greenrose each singled following the blast. Reed then singled in Genthner to the gap to 3-2.

Thibodeau then hit a two-run double to deep center field in the top of the fourth, bringing Belfast’s lead back to three runs at 5-2.

Shane Osier came in to score on Alex Greenrose’s RBI-single in the fourth, but that would be the last of the Panther firepower on the day.

After adding another run in the fifth inning, Davis belted an RBI-triple in the sixth inning, followed by an RBI-double for Beal, extending the Belfast advantage to 8-3. A ground out by Steinort brought in another run, pushing the visitors’ lead to 9-3.

Belfast added two more insurance runs in the seventh inning.

Ross said he has a bundle of seniors — 11 of the 13 players on his roster — which has likely helped spark the club through the first two games.

“We want to keep this intensity and to keep swinging the bats like this,” said Ross. “Offense goes up and down, that’s why defense and pitching is what we really hope to keep consistent. But scoring all these runs is great.”

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.