University of Maine baseball coach Nick Derba is going to be inducted into the Manhattan College Athletics Hall of Fame.
The 41st annual induction ceremony and dinner will take place on Nov. 9 in New York City.
Derba was a three-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference first-team catcher for the Jaspers. He played in 210 games and hit .291 with 26 home runs and 129 runs batted in. He also had 36 doubles and scored 172 runs.
The Jaspers played in an NCAA regional in Nebraska in 2006, going 2-2 and reaching the regional final.
Manhattan won 121 games in four seasons behind Derba, the program’s only three-year captain.
“I’ve never been so honored in my entire life,” said the 33-year-old Derba, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and had a 368-game minor-league career including 61 games at the AAA level.
“It is an awesome award. I was a role player surrounded by an amazing cast of pitchers and very good players,” Derba said.
One of those players was slugging first baseman Matt Rizzotti, who was also Derba’s teammate at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, New York.
“He was always there for me. He helped me manage my mental lapses. He was one of the best college hitters I’ve ever seen. He hit right in front of me for six years,” Derba said.
He also praised Manhattan backup catcher Joe Fitzpatrick, who did things like going out to the bullpen to warm up the pitchers when Derba was tired or achy.
Derba said his parents, Vic and Elaine, along with his siblings and his friends played a huge role in his career.
“They always encouraged me. I was never the most talented guy so I needed to have the best support system to become a decent college player,” Derba said.
He pointed out that he benefited from having two quality head coaches at Manhattan, Steve Trimper and Kevin Leighton, along with assistant Mike Cole.
Former UMaine head coach Trimper hired Derba as an assistant at UMaine and Derba succeeded Trimper as head coach when Trimper left to take the job at Stetson University (Florida) in 2016. Derba served as the interim head coach in 2017 before being named the head coach the following year.
“You want to play for somebody you like,” Derba said.
UMaine’s Patterson honored
UMaine cornerback Manny Patterson earned another preseason Football Championship Subdivision All-America honor.
The senior was named to the Athlon 2019 Preseason All-America team after earning first-team preseason All-America recognition last week from Hero Sports.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Baltimore was an All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team selection last season. He was a second-team All-ECAC pick and an All-New England honoree as well.
Patterson led the Colonial Athletic Association with 22 pass breakups and was third in the nation with 1.57 breakups and 1.8 passes defended per game. He made three interceptions, two coming during the playoffs.
Patterson was involved in 47 tackles in 14 games as the Black Bears reached the FCS semifinals for the first time in school history.