This past Friday, former Dukes catcher, Ivan Solis, signed a National Letter of Intent to attend NCAA Division II Goldey Beacom College in Wilmington, DE. Solis becomes the 15th member from the 2017 Region XIX Championship roster to sign an NCAA scholarship and will be the 4th Cumberland alum to sign with Tom Riley and the upstart Goldey Beacom College Lightning. The three previous members were Raul Perez (2016), Calvin Clark (2016), and Ivan's brother, Carlos Solis (2017). Perez recently graduated with a Business degree from Goldey-Beacom and is currently pursuing his Master's Degree at Goldey-Beacom as well.
Ivan was a calming presence for the Dukes with his infectious personality and easygoing demeanor. He made his way to the Vineland campus after graduating from William Allen High School in Allentown, PA by way of La Chorrera, Panama. In 2017, Solis challenged the incumbent starting catcher, 1st-Team All-American Mitch Walker, which would elevate the performances of both he and Mitch. Ivan finished 2017 batting .321 with 50 hits and scoring 47 runs. He would only strikeout just 14 times in 203 plate appearances and was third on the team in hit by pitches with 18. He proved to be an integral piece of the historic 33-game win streak as Ivan started as a catcher or designated hitter in 38 of the Dukes final 42 games. The Dukes season would end with a 3rd place finish at the 2017 NJCAA World Series with a record of 55-6. The team's 55 wins stands as the highest all-time single-season win total of any New Jersey college at any level.
In 2018, Solis took on the leadership role providing guidance to a revamped roster that featured 24 freshmen. He would finish 6th on the team in hits (33) and tie for the team lead in hit by pitches with 17. Ivan would lower his strikeout total from 14 in 2017 to just 8 throughout the 2018 season, pointing to his demeanor of the situation never being too big for him. Solis would be the first to admit that 2018 did not end the way he envisioned, however, he leaves Cumberland's campus as one of its winningest alums of all-time. As he moves on to Goldey Beacom, Ivan will take with him 91 total wins, 83 career hits, and a Region XIX Championship.
Cumberland Assistant Coach, JD Dijamco, speaks fondly of his relationship with Ivan. "When I first saw Ivan play, I was extremely impressed." Dijamco continued, "During the recruitment, I was straightforward with him as I always am with recruits and told him that we have a pretty special catcher already on the roster. I held my breath thinking he would turn us down, but to my excitement, he committed and wanted to take on that challenge. Look where his determination got him." He concluded, "Ivan is headed to an exciting program with an incredible staff. I know he will be taken care of there."
As mentioned, Ivan is the 15th member from the 2017 Region XIX Championship roster to receive and NCAA scholarship. Additionally, of the 26 active members from that team, Ivan is the 20th student-athlete currently pursuing and on pace to receive their Bachelor's Degree. He will enroll at Goldey Beacom College for the Spring 2019 semester and will join the baseball program immediately.