Things didn’t exactly turn out the way the ACC had hoped at the College World Series.

Of the record-tying 4 teams the conference sent to Omaha, half of them went 2-and-barbecue and only 1 made it as far as the semifinals.

While Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia will all be watching the national championship series on TV back home instead of on the field at Charles Schwab Field, the tournament wasn’t a complete disappointment for at least some of the participants.

That includes several ACC players eligible for next month’s Major League Baseball Draft.

We’re not talking about the stars. North Carolina’s Vance Honeycutt, the Florida State duo of James Tibbs III and Cam Smith, and NC State’s Jacob Cozart were all going to be 1st- or 2nd-rounders no matter what.

It’s those others flying below the radar that got a chance to shine for the scouts on college baseball’s biggest stage.

Here are the 5 who improved their draft stock the most with their performances in Omaha this week:

Casey Cook, UNC

There are questions about Cook’s defense, either as an outfielder or at second base. But it’s his bat that has him ranked among the top 175 prospects in this year’s class and helped earn him an invitation to this week’s MLB Draft Combine in Phoenix (that he’s obviously too busy able to attend).

This is all you need to know about Cook’s offensive potential. In the 9th inning of a tie game in the Tar Heels’ CWS opener, Virginia coach Brian O’Connor decided not to walk the dangerous Honeycutt with a base open because he didn’t want to pitch to Cook, who was 3-for-4 in the game.

Cook also had a hit in a loss to Tennessee and an RBI double against Florida State while going 5-for-13 in Omaha. He finished the season at .344 with 18 homers and 78 RBIs.

Jaime Ferrer, Florida State

While Tibbs and Smith get most of the attention in a loaded Seminoles’ batting order, Ferrer was the star of the show in Omaha.

The junior left fielder slugged his way into the CWS history book by driving in 4 runs in each of FSU’s first 2 games. In doing so, he became the first player since Southern Cal’s Robbie Gorr in 1998 to post 4 or more RBIs in consecutive games.

Ferrer had a homer in the Seminoles’ opening round walk-off loss to Tennessee before hitting 2 more in an elimination game win against ACC rival Virginia. He is the 6th FSU player to hit at least 3 homers in a single CWS.

Unlike Cook, Ferrer isn’t ranked among the top 200 prospects by And while he’s also missing out on the Combine, he took advantage of the opportunity to enhance his draft position by swinging a hot bat in Omaha.

Alec Makarewicz, NC State

The biggest thing Makarewicz has working against him is his age. A 5th-year player who is already 23 years old, the East Carolina transfer is past his prime as a top prospect. But after earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the Wolfpack’s NCAA regional and his performance at the plate in Omaha, someone is bound to take a mid-round flier on him.

He finished the season with a .378 average, 24 homers, 25 doubles and 84 RBIs.

Makarewicz showed off his power and ability to handle pressure situations by hitting clutch 2-run homers in both of State’s 1-run losses in Omaha. A switch hitter who also showed he can handle himself defensively at 3rd base, he was by far the Wolfpack’s best position player during their short stay at the CWS.

Sam Highfill, NC State

Highfill was once a highly-regarded prospect. As a 2nd-year freshman in 2021, he went 9-2 with a team-leading 3.66 ERA and allowed only 2 hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings against Vanderbilt in the CWS to outduel 1st-round pick Jack Leiter in a 1-0 victory. It was a performance that earned him a spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team that summer.

Injuries, however, derailed the right-hander’s career. But after missing most of 2022 and pitching out of the bullpen last year, the pitcher known to State fans as “The Mayor” showed that he’s healthy and still has something left in the tank this season.

He capped his college career with a gritty 7-inning performance in which he allowed only 2 runs and gave his team a chance to win in Saturday’s 10-inning loss to Kentucky. As is the case with Makarewicz, his age is a factor. As is his medical history. But he’s shown he can pitch. And you can never have too many pitchers.

Connor Hults, Florida State

Hults doesn’t light up a radar gun, which is why he probably wasn’t even on most teams’ radar despite recording 4 saves and striking out 35 in 34 1/3 innings over 27 appearances. But after giving up a walk-off single to Tennessee’s Dylan Dreiling, the only batter he faced in the Seminoles’ CWS opener, he opened some eyes with a season-saving performance against UNC.

With FSU facing elimination and the Tar Heels threatening in the 5th, Hults came out of the bullpen to end the rally. He then gave his team’s staff a huge boost by finishing out the final 4 innings, shutting UNC out to earn the victory, punctuating the effort by striking out Honeycutt.

The junior college transfer may or may not get drafted. But he’s left-handed and has an elite slider with a high spin rate. He’s just a junior, so he has another year of eligibility. But after Tuesday, he might have options.