John Cornely had just settled into his hotel room Thursday night in Durham, N.C., when the name of Gwinnett Braves manager Brian Snitker showed up on his cell phone.
“He said it was good news,” Cornely said Friday. “I guess that was the understatement of the year.”
Cornely, a graduate of Bishop England High School and former Wofford College pitcher, had been called up to the Major Leagues by the Atlanta Braves. He journeyed Friday from Durham to Philadelphia, where the Braves were to begin a series with the Phillies.
“I’m standing outside the locker room in Philly right now,” Cornely said Friday afternoon. “It’s surreal.”
Cornely was joined on his trip to Philadelphia by Gwinnett teammate Michael Kohn, who also was called up by the Braves on Friday. Kohn, a Mount Pleasant resident and former College of Charleston Cougar, has pitched parts of four seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and was able to dispense some veteran wisdom to Cornely.
“He’s been very helpful giving me advice and telling me all the things I need to know,” Cornely said. “It was more than I could have asked for, for sure.”
Cornely said his family flew up to Philadelphia on Friday, but he’s not sure when he’ll be called on to pitch.
“I’m anxious,” he said, “but excited at the same time.”
Cornely, 25, has not pitched in the Majors but has been stellar in the minors since Atlanta picked him in the 15th round of the 2011 draft out of Wofford College.
He was 2-0 with a 1.04 earned run average this season at Gwinnett.
Kohn, 28, pitched for the College of Charleston and has four years of big league experience with the Angels. The Camden native was 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA this season at Gwinnett.
Cornely would become the first Wofford player in the majors since John Boozer in 1969. Fellow Bishop England graduate Drew Meyer, a former University of South Carolina shortstop, had 14 Major League at-bats with the Texas Rangers in 2006.
Gene Sapakoff contributed to this report.