Derek graduated as a 3 year starter on the Corning Varsity baseball team. He had a career batting average of .400 and won the John Leipold Award as a senior. He won 31 games in American Legion ball and 1991 pitched his way to a 13-0 record. After High school, he attended Mansfield University and ptiched for the Mounties to 4 PSAC titles. He had a 7-4 record with 9 saves and set a school record with 22 games as a junior. He had a 0.00 ERA in 4 innings work in the NCAA Division II World Series verus Troy State and Florida Southern. Before graduating in 1995, he was a member of the runner up team at the Division II World Series.