ATHENS — Georgia Tech got a shining start from Aeden Finateri and just enough offense to edge Army 4-2 on Saturday at Foley Field in an elimination game of the Athens Regional.

The Yellow Jackets (32-24) advance to play Georgia or North Carolina-Wilmington at noon Sunday. Tech will need to win that game and another at 6 p.m. Sunday to force a winner-take-all game Monday.

“We weren’t going to have this be our last game of the season,” Finateri said. “We were gonna go out there and do our very best to get the win and extend our season to give ourselves the chance to go out there and keep playing. So I think just that mindset from the jump.

“My mindset was just don’t let it bleed. I did give up the one homer, but besides that, just not letting the previous at-bat affect the next one. Every batter is a new batter. Just staying clear-minded and powering through.”

Finateri (6-4) went six-plus innings and allowed only two runs on eight hits and a walk. He fanned five and threw 63 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

Army finished its season at 31-23.

With Tech leading 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, John Giesler strode to the plate with the bases loaded and one out and Tech clutching a 3-2 lead. Giesler would walk on eight pitches to drive home a run and put the Jackets up 4-2.

Freshman Tate McKee (S,1) came out of the ‘pen to try to get the save and, after a leadoff walk, got a liner to center, a foul out to left and a grounder to first to seal the deal.

Tech jumped in front in the first when Drew Burress crushed a 2-1 pitch from Army starter Justin Lehman, a solo home run deep out to left making the score 1-0. One out later Giesler ripped a liner out to left that barely cleared the wall for a solo shot of his own, making the score 2-0.

“It had been a while (since we scored), and we knew it,” Burress said. “We just needed to get on the (scoreboard), and then it would break back open and we could get it open. It’s not at the forefront of your mind, but it’s definitely something back there that you wanna be the guy that helps the team gets going.”

The Jackets had gone scoreless in their previous 18 innings until the first-inning homers.

“They got two big guys. Got Burress and Giesler. I made a mistake to both those guys. And both of them decided to do what they do,” Lehman said.

In the fourth, Bobby Zmarzlak worked a one-out walk and moved to second on Payton Green’s swinging bunt. Mike Becchetti came through with a single to left to score Zmarzlak and to give the Jackets a 3-0 cushion.

Chris Barr hit a cue shot to the right of second for an infield single to start Army’s sixth inning. That brought Sam Ruta to the plate, and the senior third baseman belted a two-run shot off the scoreboard in right, cutting the score to 3-2.

Another infield hit, this one off the bat of Ethan Ellis out to second, gave Army a base runner to start the seventh. That chased Finateri from the game as Tech brought in freshman Riley Stanford.

A sac bunt moved Ellis to second before Derek Berg walked. After a fly out to center, Ruta stepped in popped the first pitch he saw into foul territory, where Tech first baseman Cam Jones was waiting to squeeze it for the final out.

Lehman (5-4) went 6-1/3 innings and allowed only the three earned runs. He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out two while throwing 96 pitches (63 strikes).

Georgia and UNC Wilmington were scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to the 6 p.m. Sunday game and the loser falling to Sunday’s elimination game against Tech at noon.

“I kind of told ‘em before the game, ‘(Our backs) are against the wall, and it’s gonna be a fight,’” Tech coach Danny Hall said. “You can’t go backward because that wall is back there. So the only way you can go is forward. And they did a great job just taking those steps forward. Now we gotta take some momentum and go into a game (Sunday) and play good again.”