After a standout career for Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Carpenter helped lead Butler County Community College to their first Region 6 Championship in 1992. At Carroll, Carpenter was named All City League pitcher his senior year (1990).
In his two years at Butler, the team coached by Hall of Famer B.D. Parker posted an overall record of 88-26. His freshman season was cut short due to an ankle injury, but he posted a 4-0 record with a 2.12 ERA. That season, the Grizzlies finished as both Western Sub-Regional and Region 6 Champions.
As a sophomore, Derek posted a 12-1 record with a 2.90 ERA. The team repeated as Western Sub-Regional and Region 6 Champions. Post season honors for Carpenter included First Team All Jayhawk Juco Conference, First Team All Region 6, NJCAA Academic All-American and Second Team NJCAA All-American.
Following his career at Butler, Derek went on to star for the University of Washington. He redshirted in 1993 in order to have elbow surgery. Carpenter came back strong in 1994 with a 10-2 record and a 3.65 ERA. In PAC-10 Conference games, Derek was 6-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Carpenter defeated Wichita State, 4-1 for his first win that season.
The 1994 Huskies went 46-18 finishing ranked number 15 in the final NCAA Division 1 Baseball poll. They lost in the Championship game of the Midwest Regional to Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech that year went on to finish as the NCAA World Series Runner-up and were led by Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek.
Derek’s senior year at Washington, he battled injuries and finished with a 6-5 record. His overall collegiate record was 32 wins against only 8 losses (5 in his injury plagued senior year).
Derek threw a one hitter at every level, one at Carroll, one at Butler and one at Washington against Oregon State.
Carpenter lives in Wichita with his wife Paula and their two children, son, Tanner and daughter, Kennedy